MODESTO -- A judge this morning ruled there was sufficient evidence for a teenager to stand trial accused of murder, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in an attack on her parents last year at the family's Denair home.
Shanna Wills, 18, is accused of using a decorative knife to stab Kenneth Wills, 62, her father, and Susan Wills, then 61, her mother. Wills was 17 when the attack occurred on Mother's Day May 8, 2011, but she is being prosecuted as an adult.
At the defendant's preliminary hearing, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge John Freeland said there was no evidence presented that showed Wills was suffering from a psychotic episode when she attacked her parents, but witness testimony strongly suggested that's what happened.
The judge also said suffering a psychotic episode does not rule out premeditation in the assault.
"It's the defendant's own words that hurt her here," Freeland said in court.
In his closing argument, Deputy District Attorney Randy Fischer emphasized testimony from Stanislaus County sheriff's Deputy Nathan Malone. The deputy testified that Wills told him, "I was planning this. I had to do it."
She also told the deputy that Jesus told her she had to do it, he testified. She made these statements as she lay nude inside an overflowing bathtub while her parents were on the ground bleeding down the hallway.
"This was a sustained assault," Fischer argued. "This wasn't a lash-out with one single blow."
Deputy Public Defender Greg Spiering, Wills' attorney, argued that it's not clear whether the deputy's quotes of his client's statements are accurate. He said the deputy didn't take notes at the crime scene and wrote his report several hours later.
The defense attorney also argued it's not clear what Wills was talking about when she referred to "planning." He said Wills could have been planning the Mother's Day celebration, her own redemption or her ascension as a female God.
"This was motivated by her inner psychosis," Spiering argued before referring to his client's "magical, disorganized thinking."
He believes his client's actions were a product of her mental disease, and her actions were not deliberate.