An Ohio man who believed he was receiving instructive messages from Wheel of Fortune has been found not guilty in the murder of his mother. Derrick Williams was found not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday, CBS News reported. Williams, 48, had reportedly stopped taking his prescribed medications at the time and believed host Pat Sajak had instructed him to kill his mother.
Brian Pierce, Williams' lawyer, said his client thought he was being told to kill his elderly mother when he heard his hometown of Akron mentioned on the popular game show. "I'm appreciative that the state agreed to stipulate and we can get him into a mental health facility to get him the help he needs," Pierce said after Summit County prosecutors made the call Thursday, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
Williams killed his mother by beating her in the head with a lead pipe, authorities said. Her body was discovered by Williams' sister in December 2016, at which point she called 911 and told a dispatcher that her brother had committed the act. "I told her not to let him stay here," she said. Williams and his mother—78-year-old Alaine Williams—lived together in Akron. Williams had originally been charged with murder and felonious assault in her death.
The 2016 killing was reportedly preceded by an argument over a microwave. Back in 2006, Williams was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a separate incident involving his mother. According to court documents, Williams was temporarily committed to Northeast Behavioral Healthcare System facilities in Northfield after the '06 ruling. His Cuyahoga County supervision period ended in 2014.