Schaumburg woman who tried to kill ex-husband found guilty but mentally ill

Posted6/15/2018 1:00 AM
  • Anna Derose

    Anna Derose

A judge on Thursday rejected the insanity defense of a Schaumburg woman who tried to run down her former husband two years ago at his Roselle home and found the woman guilty but mentally ill.

Anna Derose, 46, sat quietly between her attorneys as Cook County Judge Joel Greenblatt found her guilty of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, resisting a police officer and criminal damage to property.

Two experts -- clinical psychiatrist Linda Gruenberg and clinical psychologist Erick Neu -- testified Derose has a history of mental illness and has been hospitalized several times. They said she was legally insane on April 21, 2016, when she drove to her husband's home -- despite his order of protection against her -- because she had an overwhelming urge to see her children, whom she had not seen for six months.

Derose and her former husband spotted each other through a window after she spoke briefly to her son outside. She claimed seeing her former husband triggered a panic attack that caused heart palpitations, shortness of breath and blurry vision.

Prosecutors said after the man exited his home, Derose drove at him. He ducked behind his truck, which she struck, causing more than $2,000 in damage. They say she circled the block, returned to his home and chased him through yards and in between houses at speeds of between 30 to 35 miles per hour.

"It's clear to me the defendant was in hot pursuit of her ex-husband," said Greenblatt, who recounted that and other testimony during his announcement of his finding.

He also referenced statements from two Roselle police officers who reported that Derose tried to flee from them several times after they managed to stop her. While he acknowledged Derose suffers from a mental illness, Greenblatt said it was clear to him that "the defendant's efforts to avoid apprehension reflected an appreciation for the criminality of her conduct."

According to the law, a person is not guilty by reason of insanity if he or she cannot appreciate such criminality.

"Suffering a panic attack does not mean you are insane," Greenblatt said.

Derose next appears in court July 9 for post-trial motions and possible sentencing.

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