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Closing statements made in Tasheonia Hills murder trial

Both the defense and prosecution gave closing statements in the Tasheonia murder trial on Thursday.

Posted: Dec. 13, 2018 7:33 PM
Updated: Dec. 13, 2018 7:54 PM

UTICA, NY-- Both the defense and prosecution gave closing statements in the Tasheonia murder trial on Thursday.

Hills is the 26-year-old Utica woman accused of stabbing her mother to death in February 2017. But the defense says it's not that simple.

"Tasheonia Hills suffered from from a mental disease or defect and on February 6, when she caused the death of her mother and as a result of that defect she lacked the substantial capacity appreciate the nature of the consequences of her actions," said Cory Zennamo, defense attorney for Hills.

The defense told jurors to look at the two psychologists that testified along with the delusions that Hills claims she was experiencing at the time of the murder.

"She could not understand those most basic needs, so how could you possibly understand the greater thought process about what she was doing was wrong, about the fact that she was killing her mother," Zennamo said. "She wasn't anywhere near that ladies and gentlemen, she was still dealing with the fact that the candle went out that it was going out and telling her what to do. She was dealing the the fact that everybody evil and nobody could be trusted. She was nowhere near the place where she could articulate or appreciate what's right and wrong."

But the prosecution said this is not a case of psychosis, it was over unresolved anger towards her mother after Hills was sexually assaulted.

"She tells us that the whole thing started over a recurring argument that he was unique to her and her mother the sexual assault and her mother's extortion of the person involved " said Joshua Bauer, Oneida County assistant district attorney. "This was a long-standing point of contention between the defendant and her mother.

Bauer instructed jurors to remember what Hills told Dr. Lesswin.

"I forced the scissors into her eyes to make sure she was dead,' ladies and gentlemen she didn't just appreciate that she was harming her mother she was consciously making absolutely sure."

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