Windsor Locks man acquitted of insanity in fatal stabbing of his mother

Sept. 13—After a largely uncontested trial, a three-judge panel of Hartford Superior Court unanimously finds Kevin Thomas Landry not guilty by reason of “mental disease or defect” in the murder of his mother, Barbara Landry.

Landry’s public defenders, Rashad Glass and Claud E. Chong, did not challenge prosecution evidence that Landry, now 31, intended to kill his 60-year-old mother when he stabbed her repeatedly at their home on John Street in Windsor Locks in August . 31, 2020. That would normally be enough for a murder conviction.

But prosecutors Anthony Bochicchio and Danielle M. O’Connell also did not challenge the testimony of Dr. Peter T. Morgan, the defense psychiatrist, that Landry committed the murder at a time when he could not appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions or control his behavior as prescribed by law. These are the criteria set forth by Connecticut law for the mental disease or defect defense, commonly called insanity.

ABSOLUTE FINDING

Accused: Kevin Thomas Landry, now 31, who lived with his parents on John Street in Windsor Locks when he admitted fatally stabbing his mother, Barbara Landry, on August 31, 2020

UPDATE: The three-judge panel unanimously found him not guilty of murder by reason of “mental disease or defect,” commonly called insanity.

WHAT’S NEXT?: Another 60-day evaluation at Connecticut Valley Hospital’s Whiting Forensic Division in Middletown, followed by a Nov. 21 hearing on how long Landry should be committed to the legal custody of the state Psychiatric Security Review Board

Morgan admitted that Landry was “using cannabis with some regularity” at the time he killed his mother. This was a potential issue because Connecticut law does not allow a mental health defense if the problem was caused by willful use of illegal drugs.

But Morgan opined that Landry’s violent behavior stemmed from schizophrenia and not from the abuse of cannabis, which he said can cause psychotic symptoms only in high doses or if used intravenously.

Senior Judge Frank M. D’Addabbo Jr. said in announcing the panel’s decision, which also included Justices Carl J. Schuman and Kevin C. Doyle, that they unanimously believed Morgan’s conclusions, including that Landry’s psychosis was not caused by substance abuse.

Landry, who graduated with honors from the University of Connecticut and went on to work on Wall Street and pursue a master’s degree in mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles, was involuntarily committed to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington in late 2019.

At that time he was diagnosed with a condition identical to schizophrenia, except that the six months of symptoms required for a diagnosis of schizophrenia were not required, Morgan testified.

Symptoms of schizophrenia include “delusions,” or false beliefs, and hallucinations, which can be auditory or visual, Morgan testified.

He said Landry had “very strong delusions” that he was sexually abused by his mother for a long period of time, including at the time of the murder. As a result, Landry felt justified in killing her, the psychiatrist testified.

Morgan said Landry’s father had indicated that none of his son’s allegations against his mother were true.

Glass said another of Landry’s delusions was that his mother had walked around naked in public, a claim he said was not supported by any other witnesses.

Windsor Locks police learned of the stabbing when Landry called 911 and said he had “just murdered” his mother for raping him.

O’Connell asked Morgan about the possibility that the call indicated that Landry believed what he had done was wrong. Morgan responded that Landry believed what he had done was justified, even though he “knew on some level” that he should have called the police.

Magistrates committed Landry to the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown for 60 days of further psychiatric evaluation.

They set a Nov. 21 hearing on how long he should be committed to the legal custody of the state Psychiatric Security Review Board, which could be up to 60 years. The board oversees the treatment of patients who have been acquitted of crimes on mental grounds, with the goal of safely returning them to the community.

For updates on Glastonbury and recent crime and court coverage in North-Central Connecticut, follow Alex Wood on Twitter: @AlexWoodJI1, Facebook: Alex Wood, and Instagram: @AlexWoodJI.

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