LIMA — A Lima woman indicted in November 2019 for the stabbing two months earlier of an Allen County Sheriff’s Office deputy with his own knife on Monday was found to be not guilty by reason of insanity.
The indictment charged Mary Spurlock, 45, with a first-degree felony count of felonious assault for stabbing Deputy Evan Thomas as he was attempting to take her against her will to a local hospital for a court-ordered mental health evaluation.
Thomas was the lone witness called to testify Monday during Spurlock’s trial. Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed heard the case in the absence of a jury and found the woman met the criteria for the insanity plea.
Thomas testified Spurlock resisted his efforts to take her to the hospital, and the pair ended up scuffling on the floor of her residence. At that point, Spurlock removed the deputy’s knife from his utility belt and stabbed him in the finger. Thomas said the incident resulted in a “small laceration with a medium amount of bleeding” on his part.
Under cross-examination by Spurlock’s attorney about his client’s state of mind at the time, Thomas said the woman “said she had a higher security clearance than (then) President Trump.”
A report from experts at the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo released in January of this year determined that Spurlock was at that time mentally competent and able to assist in her own defense. But her attorney, Bill Kluge, cited an earlier mental evaluation in which it was the opinion of psychologists that Spurlock was suffering from a “severe mental disease” at the time of the stabbing and should not be held responsible for the incident.
Reed, in upholding the not guilty by reason of insanity finding, said he believed Spurlock did not have knowledge of the wrongfulness of her acts at the time and did believe her life was in danger due to a “major mental disease.”
The judge ordered the woman to be returned to the Toledo hospital for a full risk assessment and re-evaluation of her mental status. She can be held at the psychiatric hospital for no longer than the maximum length of time she could have been sentenced to serve in prison if convicted.
Spurlock appeared at a hearing in January via Zoom from the Toledo hospital, where she had been for a year after doctors at the Forensic Psychiatry Center for Western Ohio in Dayton found her incompetent to stand trial.
Spurlock during that hearing said the charges against her were “grossly exaggerated.”