Woman killed mom with frying pan after she learned she’d been kicked out of college
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Featured Image Credit: Summit County Sheriff's Office / Akron Children Hospital
A woman from Ohio has been convicted of killing her mom using a frying pan.
Prosecutors said Powell hit her mom repeatedly with a cast iron skillet and stabbed her in the neck almost 30 times with a steak knife.
They claimed that Powell had carried out the attack after her mom learned that she had been kicked out of Mount Union University - a secret the former student didn't want her mom to know.
Powell was convicted on two counts of murder as one means purposefully causing a death, and another which involves causing death as a result of a felonious assault. She was also convicted of felonious assault and tampering with evidence.
Defence experts tried to meet the legal definition of insanity, with expert James Reardon saying that Powell had suffered from a psychotic break when she killed her mother.
A psychotic break means that someone becomes detached from reality, with symptoms including hallucinations and delusions. Psychosis can be associated with an underlying mental health condition such as schizophrenia.
Reardon was one of three experts for who evaluated Powell and diagnosed her with schizophrenia, finding that due to the mental disorder she didn't understand what she was doing when she killed her mom.
However, Sylvia O'Bradovich, a psychologist brought in by prosecutors, disagreed with the findings and argued that Powell did not meet the legal definition of insanity when she committed the crime.
O'Bradovich added that Powell does suffer from mental health issues, claiming that these include borderline personality traits and an unspecified anxiety disorder.
She also claimed that Powell was 'malingering', meaning that she was exaggerating symptoms of mental health disorders.
Powell's defence attorney Don Malarcik argued that the prosecution had wanted jurors to believe Powell fooled multiple medial experts, claiming she would have to be 'Meryl Streep, Sigmund Freud, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg' to carry out such a feat.
Prosecutor Brian Stano argued that the nature of the attack was indicative that Powell had been purposefully trying to end her mother's life.
He said: “Sydney stopped attacking with the pan, presumably went to the kitchen with a knife. She had to switch weapons and keep attacking her.
“Just the knife just in the neck multiple times? That is purposeful. That is trying to end someone."
A jury last week found Powell guilty of two counts of murder, one count of felonious assault, and one count of tampering with evidence.
Powell has not yet been sentenced but could receive a maximum life sentence, with parole possible after 15 years.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for later this week on 28 September.