CLARION, Iowa — An Osage teenager wasn't insane when he shot his mother nearly two dozen times, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday during closing arguments in his murder trial. But defense attorneys said the boy suffers from a mental disorder characterized by fits of rage.
Assistant Iowa Attorney General Denise Timmins argued that 14-year-old Noah Crooks waited for the right time to shoot his 37-year-old mother, Gretchen Crooks, and tried to sexually abuse her on the night of March 24, 2012. Timmins said Noah planned to shoot his mother earlier in the evening but decided to wait because her back was turned away from him, the Mason City Globe Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/10nic91).
"The last thing she saw before she died was her own son raising a gun at her and pulling the trigger. He wanted to see his mother's face when she died," Timmins said in Wright County District Court in Clarion.
But the boy's lawyers, who are relying on an insanity defense, argued that Noah suffers from intermittent explosive disorder. They said it is characterized by periods of extreme rage and violence.
"In this little boy's background, common sense would tell you this was a very sick boy," defense attorney William Kutmus said. "He had the idea to have sexual intercourse with his own mother."
Noah is charged with first-degree murder and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. He is accused of shooting his mother 22 times at the family's home while she was studying on a couch. He was 13 at the time.
A jury will begin deliberations Wednesday morning.
Testimony wrapped up Monday and included differing opinions from expert witnesses about whether Noah had a mental illness and whether he knew right from wrong.
Other testimony in the trial included Noah's father, William Crooks, 41, who was away at the time of the shooting. He testified Friday that he thought a text from Noah shortly after the shooting was a joke. It read, "Dad this is Noah. I killed Mom accidentally. I regret it. Come home now please."
Information from: Globe Gazette, http://www.globegazette.com/