Testimony revealed the Oak Lawn woman suffered from delusions and thought the government was out to get her before she admitted killing her own 6 month old granddaughter in 2013.
The following statutory language was used to explain why an Oak Lawn woman was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the brutal, October 2013 murder of her own 6 month old granddaughter:
Sec. 6-2. Insanity.
(a) A person is not criminally responsible for conduct if at the time of such conduct, as a result of mental disease or mental defect, he lacks substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of his conduct.
(b) The terms “mental disease or mental defect” do not include an abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct.
(c) A person who, at the time of the commission of a criminal offense, was not insane but was suffering from a mental illness, is not relieved of criminal responsibility for his conduct and may be found guilty but mentally ill.
(d) For purposes of this Section, “mental illness” or “mentally ill” means a substantial disorder of thought, mood, or behavior which afflicted a person at the time of the commission of the offense and which impaired that person’s judgment, but not to the extent that he is unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his behavior.
(e) When the defense of insanity has been presented during the trial, the burden of proof is on the defendant to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity. However, the burden of proof remains on the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of each of the offenses charged, and, in a jury trial where the insanity defense has been presented, the jury must be instructed that it may not consider whether the defendant has met his burden of proving that he is not guilty by reason of insanity until and unless it has first determined that the State has proven the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the offense with which he is charged.
The woman, who had a history of mental illness issues including delusions, will now be evaluated by the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Judge Colleen Hyland, a former Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, ruled Wednesday that Alfreda Giedrojc suffered from mental illness when she bashed the infant’s head with a sledgehammer and cut her throat with a kitchen knife after the child was left in her care by the woman’s son in law.
Giedrojc was motionless as the Judge read the verdict in the Bridgeview courtroom. The judge’s decision was based on testimony in the case that included the young girl’s mother. Giedrrojc was described by family members as being “withdrawn” on the day of the murder and “unaffected” after the brutal slaying.
Police officers had described the brutal scene and Gjerdrojc had not attempted to flee or cover up the killing in the 6600 block of 91st Street.
The baby’s father had left the infant with Giedrojc, his mother in law, and crossed the street to a relative’s house to help with something. It was the first and only time the baby had been left with Giedrojc. According to police reports and testimony, the baby wouldn’t stop crying. Hyland said that the baby “suffered a horrific, brutal death at the hands of the defendant”. By the time Giedrojc’s husband returned to the home to check on the baby, the infant was dead.
While Judge Hyland had indicated that the evidence clearly showed the defendant killed the infant, she was unable to understand the criminality of her actions at the time of the murder. The Judge relied on the testimony of family members and clinical experts in the field of forensic psychiatry.
Both of the psychiatrists testified that Giedojc suffered from mental illness. She had been hospitalized for major depression twice and was suicidal speaking about wanting a gun and drinking a large amount of alcohol in the hopes of killing herself as she battled depression.
Giedrojc, according to testimony, had been delusional. She thought the government was “out to get her”.
The infant’s mother, Giedrojc’s daughter, described her mother as “a lump on a log” prior to the child’s murder. Testimony by family members noted that Giedrojc had been losing weight, stopped working and no longer attended church. She was also described as having limited communication with family members just one day before the killing.
Giedrojc is in custody and awaiting a mental health evaluation, which must occur within thirty days.
While most states allow the defense of insanity, it is rarely successful. In 2015, only 80 people were admitted to a state mental hospital following an acquittal by reason of insanity.