MODESTO — An 18-year-old woman accused of stabbing her parents at their Denair home last year on Mother's Day maintained her innocence Monday morning during an arraignment hearing in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
Shanna Wills has been ordered to stand trial on charges of murder, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in the attack May 8, 2011.
A jury will have to determine why she assaulted Kenneth and Susan Wills, whether she intended to hurt her parents, and if she was sane when she did it.
Wills appeared in court for the arraignment hearing and pleaded not guilty. Judge John Freeland scheduled her to return to court Aug. 20 to set her trial date. Wills remains in custody at Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall until she turns 19 in November, when she is expected to be transferred to the Stanislaus County Jail if her case has not concluded.
Testimony in a preliminary hearing indicated that Wills attacked her parents with household objects before stabbing both of them. Her father died; her mother survived and testified in the preliminary hearing.
Deputy Public Defender Greg Spiering has argued in court that his client's state of mind is the key issue. He said he believes Wills' actions were rash and a product of her mental disease, not deliberate.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2394.