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updated: 7/21/2011 5:25 PM

Elmhurst grandmother ruled not guilty but insane in stabbing

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  • Sandra Clanton

    Sandra Clanton


A 40-year-old Elmhurst grandmother was found not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday in the attempted murder of her 9-month-old grandson last September.

Judge Daniel Guerin ruled after hearing evidence agreed to by Assistant State's Attorney Michael Pawl and defense attorneys. Pawl said evidence included witness testimony and the results of a psychological exam that deemed Sandra Clanton mentally ill and unable to understand her actions.

Clanton declined to testify.

"The state was able to prove (Clanton) attempted to murder her grandson," Pawl said. "And the defense showed evidence that Clanton was insane during the commission of the crime."

Pawl said Clanton will be evaluated by the Illinois Department of Human Services in the next 30 days to determine "the level of help that she needs." Pawl said the first report is expected by Clanton's next court date on Aug. 23.

Clanton was charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery of a child and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after she used a large kitchen knife to cut her grandson's forehead, right cheek and neck.

The boy, born Nov. 23, 2009, survived the attack and was treated at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital for what police described as minor wounds.

Clanton lived in the apartment on the 100 block of Willow Street with a male friend. Clanton's 17-year-old daughter recently had begun staying in the apartment with her baby.