Otty, Sanchez, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of her son, Scott Wesley Buccholtz-Sanchez. Sanchez apparently ate the child’s brain and some other body parts before stabbing herself,
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SAN ANTONIO – In the 187th District Court today Otty Sanchez, 34, was found ‘not guilty’ by reason of insanity for brutally killing her newborn baby nearly a year ago.
It was back in July of 2009 when police called to the scene said it was the most gruesome they had ever witnessed. Officers found 3-week-old Scott Wesley Sanchez Buchholz dead inside a bedroom at the home in the 300 block of Wayside. The newborn’s mother, Otty Sanchez, told police she killed, decapitated, and mutilated the baby boy.
Bexar County District Court Judge Raymond Angelini Thursday found Sanchez ‘not guilty’ by reason of insanity as part of an agreement with prosecutors. Sanchez waived her right to a jury trial, and defense attorneys entered the insanity plea on her behalf. Judge Angelini then took less than five minutes to make his decision to accept the plea.
The defense attorney submitted several mental evaluations that all said Sanchez was insane at the time of the incident. Sanchez will now be sent North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, Texas for 30 days. She’ll then return to San Antonio to face the judge again. He’ll then decide how much longer she will stay in the institution. Judge Angelini will see her at least once a year, and if at some point he decides she if mentally sane, she could be released.
Sanchez showed little emotion, but her attorney said the proceedings were emotionally draining for her.
It would have been little baby Scotty’s first birthday.
“She misses her son tremendously but she can’t explain why or how it happened” said Defense attorney Ed Camara.
After hugs and tears by both Sanchez’s mother Manuela Sanchez and the baby’s father, Scott Buchholz, we asked Manuela if she thought today’s ruling was the right one.
“I think so. Yes. No doubt about it,” commented Manuela. “I’m glad that my daughter gets a second chance at life. I’m sorry my grandson did not get that chance”
Sanchez told authorities the devil made her mutilate and dismember her child. Scott Wesley Buchholz-Sanchez was three weeks old when authorities who received a frantic 911 call from the boy’s aunt arrived to find his mutilated body, and Sanchez wailing the devil made her do it. On the call, Sanchez can be heard screaming, “I didn’t mean to do it! He told me to!” while her sister pleads for an ambulance.
“This was probably one of the most horrendous cases that we have seen as far as the murder of a child,” said County District Attorney Susan Reed.
Sanchez was charged with capital murder and was found competent to stand trial. But Reed said after three examinations by separate doctors determined she was legally insane when she killed her son, the court had no choice but to accept the plea.
“She will be committed until the court decides she is not a danger to herself or anyone else,” Reed said.
Reed said she was horrified by what Sanchez did, but also disturbed by the fact that she had sought treatment before killing her son and did not receive the care she needed.
“A lot of people are OK when they are taking their medications but once they stop taking them, they are a danger again,” Reed said.
Sanchez periodically sought treatment for mental illness before her son was born and even spent a few hours in an emergency room after the birth because she was hearing voices less than a week before the attack.
Defense attorney Ed Camara said she had been prescribed the antidepressant citalopram after giving birth but had only taken it the day before killing her son. The drugs do not take effect for a few weeks.
An estimated 1,000 women are afflicted with postpartum psychosis. Women with the diagnosis can suffer dangerous delusions and desires to hurt their children, unlike postpartum depression, which occurs in as many as one in five new mothers.
Andrea Yates, the suburban Houston mother who drowned her five children in a bathtub in 2001, and Dena Schlosser, who cut off her baby’s arms in 2004 both suffered from the psychosis, their attorneys said.
The justice system has come a long way since Yates was convicted and faced a possible death sentence in 2002, said her attorney, Greg Parnham.
Yates was sentenced to life in prison before her case was overturned on appeal, after which she was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 2006 and sent to a state hospital.