UPDATED 06/08/12 7:03 a.m.
WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) — A Bloomingdale woman accused of killing her daughter could spend the rest of her life in a psychiatric hospital, after being found not guilty by reason of insanity.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, while announcing his verdict on Thursday, DuPage County Judge George Bakalis said, “Love, when coupled with paranoia, apparently can be a very destructive force.”
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
Bakalis found Marci Webber, 45, not guilty by reason of insanity, in the stabbing death of her 4-year-old daughter, Maggie, on Nov. 3, 2010.
Webber, who has a long history of psychiatric problems, was charged with slashing Maggie’s throat in the bathtub at a family member’s suburban townhouse, then cutting her own throat and wrist.
Webber had told relatives the night before the killing that she feared the devil was going to kidnap the girl. Prosecutors said Webber told police she killed the girl to prevent her from being raped and sold as a sex slave online.
Police found several words scrawled in the blood smearing the bathroom walls, including “divine mercy,” “Satan” and “evil,” prosecutor Tim Diamond said.
In closing arguments, Webber’s attorney – DuPage County Senior Assistant Public Defender Jill Eckhaus – told the judge that Weber believed she was actually protecting her daughter by killing her, the Daily Herald reported.
Eckhaus said Webber insane at the time of the slaying, which occurred weeks after she had moved from New York to the Chicago area to live with family members.
Webber’s 19-year-old daughter, Mallory, told the Daily Herald that her mother had a long history of mental illness, and had grown increasingly delusional in the time leading up to the murder.
Weber could be held in a psychiatric hospital for up to 100 years – the same number of years she could have been sentenced to prison had she been found guilty.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)