Kirk Alan Heithecker was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 271st District Court this morning. Heithecker, 49, is accused of killing his mother at their home south of Decatur sometime over Mother’s Day weekend earlier this year. Dr. Jim Womack, a licensed psychologist who performed evaluations on Heithecker last month, testified that Heithecker has a history of mental illness dating back to his early 20s and has taken medication for many years. He apparently was not taking this medication around the time of his mother’s death. Womack testified that Heithecker could not distinguish between right or wrong when he apparently killed his mother and buried her under a pile of trash in the front yard of their rural home. In fact, Womack testified that Heithecker said he felt threatened by his mother and even thought she might be trying to kill him. Assistant District Attorney Tim Cole said the state did not dispute the doctor’s findings of Heithecker’s insanity at the time of the murder. Heithecker will be evaluated at a state hospital and return to court within 30 days for a committal hearing. He will then be committed to a state hospital. The judgment was made by District Judge John Fostel. Heithecker waived his right to a jury trial.
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