South Carolina

The Latest: Jury has question on mom's insanity claim case

The Latest on a murder trial for a South Carolina mother in the fatal shooting of her two children (all times local)

3:45 p.m.

A jury deciding if a South Carolina mother was insane when she shot and killed her two children has asked a judge to tell them the difference between guilty and guilty but mentally ill.

The question came after about two hours of deliberations on Thursday.

The judge reread the charge and sent jurors back to deliberate. He didn't tell them the difference, but in both cases, 38-year-old Suzanna Simpson would face 30 years to life in prison. She would get more mental health treatment behind bars if found guilty but mentally ill.

Simpson's lawyer says she is not guilty by reason of insanity. A psychiatrist testified Simpson thought her children would be reincarnated in a better world in 2013 when she killed her 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son as they slept.


2:05 p.m.

A jury will soon decide whether a South Carolina mother who says she shot and killed her children because she thought they would be reincarnated in a better world is guilty of murder or insane.

Four days of testimony in 38-year-old Suzanna Simpson's trial ended Thursday. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree she shot at her husband in their Pickens County home six times in May 2013, then grabbed a second, bigger gun and killed her 5-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter in their beds as they slept. Her husband survived with permanent brain damage.

Simpson's lawyer says she should be found not guilty by reason of insanity because she was delusional.