Woman Acquitted By Reason Of Insanity In Child Stabbing

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — A woman accused of stabbing a 3-year-old neighbor as he walked with an older sibling to a school bus stop in Ohio last year has been acquitted of all charges on the grounds of insanity.

Warren County Common Pleas Judge Donald Oda II rendered his verdict Thursday after closing arguments in the bench trial of 47-year-old Xiaoyan Zhu., the Dayton Daily News reported. She had been indicted the month after the March 2021 attack on charges of attempted aggravated murder and two counts of felonious assault.

Authorities had alleged that the defendant ran from her Deerfield Township home to the child's house and used a ceramic knife to stab him three times in his neck and back.

Three mental health professionals agreed that Zhu had serious mental health issues but one said she could understand and appreciate that her actions were wrong, the paper said.

Assistant Prosecutor Travis Vieux argued that Zhu’s actions displayed rational thought, and inability to control one’s behavior was not a defense under Ohio law. Defense Attorney Nicholas Graman cited the mental health examinations and noted that his client didn't flee or hide the weapon and cooperated with authorities.

Oda called the decision difficult but noted that Zhu had no previous incidents with police and believed at the time she was under attack. Oda ordered her to remain in custody at the Summit Behavioral Center pending a further hearing to determine her treatment.