OKLAHOMA CITY — A metro man accused of murdering his pregnant fiancé and her unborn child avoids the death penalty. The killing dates back to 2009.
On Wednesday a judge found Eric Knox not guilty by reason of insanity after three experts, including one hired by the state, found the suspect insane. The victim’s parents says Oklahoma law failed their family.
“I can’t get my head around not guilty by insanity. He is guilty. He killed my daughter and unborn child,” said the victim’s mother Rose Ashley.
Three years and eight months ago, Knox confessed to murdering his fiancé Stacey Beasley and her unborn child Zoe.
After his arrest Knox told police he killed “the devil” and “celebrities” told him to do it, but Stacey’s parents still believe Knox is sane.
“I believe he got mad and beat her to death,” said Rose.
“We believe it was an act and he got a number of experts to buy into it,” said the victim’s father Gerald Ashley.
“This is not justice,” said Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.
Prater says after the state’s own expert ruled Knox to be insane, prosecutors simply could not take the case to trial.
“Erik Knox murdered Stacey and Zoe even though he can’t be held criminally responsible for it,” said Prater.
“He thought he was killing the devil not a person. That’s what insanity is about,” said Knox’s attorney Paul Faulk.
“Justice was done because we don’t kill sick people in this country,” said Knox’s attorney David Slane.
“There’s no justice for what happened to my daughter,” said Rose.
“Insanity is not a reason to brutally beat a woman and unborn child to death,” said Gerald.
Because he’s been found not guilty, Knox cannot be tried again. The district attorney says he will fight to make sure Knox is never released.
The insanity ruling means Knox will go to a state hospital for treatment and from time to time the state will review his mental status.