Jury: McLaughlin Guilty Of Murder, But Not Arson

Huntsville
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The jury has found Kim McLaughlin guilty in the murder of her mother, Shirley Robuck.  The jury returned with the verdict just after 4 p.m. Friday.

The jury found McLaughlin not guilty of arson.  The jury was behind closed doors for six hours on Friday, and one hour the previous day.

Family members cried as the jury read the verdict.  Sentencing will be set on Monday.

In 2009, Robuck was stabbed more than 200 times in her Madison home. She was also decapitated, and her body was burned.

Earlier in the day, around 11:30 a.m. jurors came in with a question for the judge.  WHNT News 19’s Matt Kroschel reports the jury asked the Judge Ruth Ann Hall to re-read what ‘clear and convincing evidence means,’ as it relates to not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

After hearing this, defense lawyers said they thought this was a good sign for McLaughlin.

McLaughlin’s attorneys say their client is mentally insane.

Thursday morning, a state psychiatrist testified about McLaughlin’s state of mind at the time of the incident.  He said McLaughlin told him she believed her mother had killed 12 or 13 people and was quote “a witch.”  McLaughlin also believed her mother could take control of her body.

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Heron is prosecuting the case.  Thursday in her closing argument, Heron said McLaughlin understood her actions.

“You better believe she knew what she was doing,” Heron said.

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