AKRON, OH — Derrick Williams, 48, has been found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2016 bludgeoning death of his mother, 78-year-old Alaine Williams — at the command of what he believed were messages from Pat Sajak, veteran host of the TV game show, Wheel of Fortune.
In addition, defense attorney Brian Pierce, said that Williams believed his mother was using witchcraft against him. Calling his client “delusional” and “clearly psychotic,” Pierce stated that Williams had not been taking his prescribed medication on the night of the killing.
The attorney further explained that Williams believed Wheel of Fortune had targeted him because his hometown of Akron came up on the show. As a result, when Sajak happened to say the phrase “Do it,” Williams took it to mean: “Kill your mom.”
After arguing with Alaine over using a microwave oven on December 15, Williams fatally bludgeoned her with a lead pipe. He later claimed that, while attacking his mother, he saw the head of their neighbor’s dog appear on her body.
Williams’ sister found their slain mother and called 911. She told the dispatcher she believed her brother had committed the crime, saying, “He’s mental; I told her not to let him stay here!”
After three evaluations determined Williams was competent to stand trial, a final analysis determined he was in the grip of mental illness at the time of the killing. Authorities have placed Williams in a psychiatric facility for an indefinite period.
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