Parade Killer Called ‘Sacrificial Lamb’ for Health System

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Adacia Chambers, the woman who was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison yesterday for driving her car into a crowd at the 2015 Oklahoma State University homecoming parade, killing four spectators and injuring dozens of others, was described by her attorney as a “sacrificial lamb” for the state of mental health treatment in Oklahoma, the Tulsa World reports. But Payne County District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas said the case against Chambers, 26, was “not about mental illness” because “she was not insane at the time she did it.” Thomas said, “It’s offensive to equate criminal defendants and their actions with a mental illness. Most mentally ill people don’t commit crimes, so I find it really offensive to equate mentally ill people with criminal actions.”

Chambers told the court she was having an episode of “severe psychosis” when the wreck occurred. A jury trial for Chambers had been set to begin yesterday, but defense attorney Tony Coleman and Thomas announced that Chambers had agreed to plead no contest to all four murder counts and 39 of the assault charges. Judge Stephen Kistler sentenced Chambers to four concurrent life terms for the murder convictions and 10 years for each of the 39 assault convictions. Coleman said after the sentencing that “the system failed” Chambers when she was subjected to inadequate care throughout her life before her arrest. It’s clear that the crash would not have happened had Chambers been able to receive proper treatment in advance, he said.

 

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