A Cobb County judge directed a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday for a man who killed his mother with multiple gunshots.
But District Attorney Vic Reynolds said he disagreed with the decision, which while unlikely could allow the killer to be released from a mental health facility within months.
“I’m disappointed,” Reynolds told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “There’s no doubt he did what he was accused of doing. He killed his mother.”
A jury could have found Mario Dorce guilty but insane, Reynolds said. Instead, Judge Robert E. Flournoy granted a directed verdict. Dorce will be committed to a state mental hospital and be re-evaluated after 30 days, when a hearing will be scheduled to determine if he should remain in the treatment facility, Reynolds said. Dorce will continue to be re-evaluated every 12 months until he is deemed able to be released, the DA said.
Mario Dorce shot his mother 15 times with a 9 mm handgun in their east Cobb home on July 30, 2011, according to investigators. At the time, Dorce was 23 and a college student, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.
Police were called to the Tritt Springs Trace home, where they found the body of 52-year-old May Carole Whitty. Whitty had been a bus driver for Cobb County schools since 2002, according to a school system spokesman.
The night before Whitty was shot, she believed her son was possessed by the devil, and she called a friend to her home to pray over Dorce, his attorney, Maddox Kilgore, said Thursday.
While being arrested, Dorce was seen singing and dancing in the back of a patrol car, neighbors previously said.
Witnesses testified during the trial about Dorce’s mental illnesses, Kilgore said in an emailed press release.
“During the nine-day trial there was evidence presented that Dorce suffered from a severe form of bipolar disorder and had delusions that that he was becoming an angel, and that the Book of Revelation was actually a prophecy about him,” Kilgore said.
According to a psychologist, Dorce was delusional and believed his mother was the Antichrist, referring to her as 666 during a police interview, Kilgore said.
Dorce had been in jail without bond since his 2011 arrest.
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