MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 14, 2012

Man found insane in mother's death


Associated Press

— DURANT (AP) — A man accused in the grisly killing of his mother and the family's dog has been found not guilty by reason of insanity and will be held in a mental institution.

Ian Harley Edmondson, 24, of Durant was charged in April 2010 with first-degree murder and animal cruelty after Durant police said he used martial arts weapons to kill his mother, Francine Sue Bertis, 54, and the family's schnauzer, Abigail.

The Durant Daily Democrat reported that a non-jury trial trial for Edmondson concluded Aug, 16. Bryan County District Judge Mark Campbell took the case under advisement.

Campbell issued his verdict last week. It states that it is undisputed that Edmondson killed his mother and their dog; however, the evidence is clear beyond all doubt that he was insane at the time. Therefore, Edmondson is not guilty by reason of insanity./

The court, however, also ruled that he is a danger to the public, so he was committed to the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita.

Edmondson was arrested April 24, 2010, after police responded to an apartment on a report about a possible homicide. Officers discovered the victim's body in a bedroom. Police said she had been stabbed multiple times with a pair of kamas, a martial arts weapon similar to a scythe.

Edmondson was hiding in a closet and holding a sword, police said. The stand-off came to an end after an officer fired non-lethal shells from a shotgun.

According to a probable-cause affidavit, Edmondson confessed to entering his mother's bedroom and stabbing her to death. He had no explanation for his actions and said his mother was always good to him.

He also admitted to killing the dog. According to the affidavit, he said that he accidentally cut the dog while he was stabbing his mother, and he did not want the dog to suffer.