Woman Found Guilty But Mentally Ill
LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A jury has found a woman guilty but mentally ill in the stabbing death of her boyfriend during an act of bondage sex.
After a six-day trial, jurors found Anastazia M. Schmid guilty but mentally ill of murder and six other felonies in the death of Tony W. Heathcote, who was stabbed 39 times on March 4, 2001.
Jurors deliberated four hours before returning the verdict Saturday.
Schmid, a 29-year-old former exotic dancer who worked as a body piercer, faces 45 years to 65 years in prison at her sentencing Nov. 7 before Judge Thomas Busch.
Defense lawyers said Schmid killed Heathcote during a psychotic episode when he asked her to play out a sexual fantasy in which he was the "daddy" and she was the "little girl."
The killing occurred two days after Schmid was told by her mother that Heathcote had been accused of molesting Schmid's 6-year-old daughter. The allegation was not confirmed.
Prosecutor Jerry Bean argued that Schmid, a diagnosed schizophrenic, had her mental illness under control in the weeks before Heathcote's killing.
Three of four psychiatrists who examined Schmid concluded she was legally insane -- too mentally ill to appreciate the wrongfulness of her actions at the time of the attack.
Bean said Schmid tied Heathcote to their bed during sex, blindfolded him and stabbed him with a dagger-like knife.
Afterward, Schmid drove to her mother's home and told her she had killed Heathcote, said her attorney, David Hennessy.
The mentally ill designation in the verdicts was little solace to Hennessy, who said guilty but mentally ill is little different from a guilty verdict.
"It gives people the impression that it's a more humane sentence," Hennessy said. He plans to appeal the verdict.
Schmid and Heathcote, who also was an exotic dancer, operated a tattoo and body piercing business in Lafayette. She also had been studying phlebotomy, the practice of drawing blood, at Ivy Tech State College.