JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman accused of killing her 67-year-old mother two years ago will not go to prison for the crime, but to a state mental hospital.
Circuit Judge Lester Bass on Wednesday found Marla D'Andrea not guilty of first-degree murder by reason of insanity.
Barbara D'Andrea was found dead in her daughter's Jacksonville Beach apartment in June 2017. According to investigators, her mother was found on the couch with a cord wrapped around her arm and a bed comforter covering her face.
"She went into my sister's apartment that day for her grandchild for his protection and she lost her life for that," Theresa Chadderdon, D’Andrea’s sister, told the judge.
Marla D'Andrea admitted to killing her mother to one of her mother’s friends, according to police.
She was found and arrested at the Orlando International Airport with her 7-year-old son. Her sister said Marla D'Andrea had mental health issues that were never treated.
About a dozen family members filled the courtroom as the judge sentenced Marla D'Andrea. After reviewing a psychiatric evaluation and two doctor reports, Bass ruled her insane.
"This did not need to happen. This could’ve easily been prevented. My mom should be alive," Chadderdon said.
The judge says Marla D'Andrea will be transported to Florida State Hospital.
"Hopefully, one day, I can forgive my sister. Right now, I cannot. I am very angry and disgusted with everything that has happened," Chadderdon said.
Marla D'Andrea's status will be reviewed at a hearing set for February 2020.