Attorney: Woman who caused fatal car crash mentally ill

(Photo courtesy Facebook/Fall River Police Department)

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts woman charged with causing a high-speed car crash that killed a married couple in their 70s should be found not guilty by reason of insanity, her attorney said.

Sheri Anne Vazquez faces multiple charges including two counts of manslaughter at a jury-waived trial that started Monday in Superior Court in Fall River, The Enterprise of Brockton reported.

Virginia Masefield, 77, and her husband, John Masefield, 79, of East Bridgewater, died in the crash in Easton in May 2019. Vazquez was not seriously hurt.

Vazquez’s attorney, Jason Maloney, does not dispute that his client caused the crash, but told the judge she was “suffering from a form of psychosis, a form of schizophrenia, that made her unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of her acts and to conform to the requirements of law.”

The prosecutor said Vazquez was traveling almost 90 mph at the time of the crash and then walked away from the scene.

She faces up to 20 years in state prison if convicted of manslaughter, but if she is found not guilty by reason of insanity, she will likely be sent to a mental health facility.

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