The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

June 28, 2013

Man who murdered mother loses appeal

ANDERSON — A man who said he killed his mother to prevent Armageddon lost his appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court Friday.

Brad Passwater, who was convicted in the 2002 murder of 48-year-old Sandra Passwater at the home they shared in Lapel, had already lost his post-conviction relief appeal in 2012.

In this supreme court appeal, Passwater and attorneys Stephen T. Owen and Richard Denning argued the post-conviction appeal didn't follow proper procedure in instructing the trial jury and that Passwater received ineffective assistance from his attorneys.

Brad Passwater, who was 23 at the time of the crime, struck his mother twice over the head with a frying pan and stabbed her in the temple with a knife, according to court documents.

At trial, he used a defense of insanity, telling a court-appointed psychiatrist that he had to kill his mother in order to prevent Armageddon.

The jury was presented with two options: finding Passwater guilty but mentally ill; or finding him not responsible by reason of insanity (NRRI). The jury went with the former, and Passwater was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Supreme Court Appellate Judge Robert Rucker affirmed the decision of the previous courts and denied Passwater's appeal, determining the courts gave the jury sufficient instruction in the trial and that Passwater's attorneys had performed their duties to the best of their abilities. He cited case history in a previous similar trial to affirm his decision.

Like Jack Molitor on Facebook and follow him @aggiejack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

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