Michael Howard not considered insane at time of stabbing Brandi Todd

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on October 27, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 28 at 12:42 AM

STEPHENVILLE - Jurors have found Michael Howard guilty of stabbing Brandi Todd, leaving her paralyzed.

After they come back from their lunch break, they will start deliberating the punishment phase. Howard faces up to 20 years in jail.

Jurors deliberated just 30 minutes and returned to the courtroom on Wednesday.

They found Howard guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

But the question for jurors all along has not been whether or not Howard, 43, stabbed Todd, while she was at the park. The question has been whether or not he was insane at the time that he did it.

During the defense portion of the trial, they put on a psychologist who testified that he was insane, and had a 20-year history of severe mental illness.

Howard's father testified that he tried to get his son committed a number of times and that his son had been in and out of mental institutions.

The prosecutors carried the day with the argument that as Howard immediately apologized to Todd, after stabbing her, he therefore must have known what he was doing.

Howard left his apartment that morning with two knives. He called his brother prior to the attack and told him he was going to do something that he and others would regret.

Howard's attorneys tried to make the case that their client was getting inadequate care from state mental health services.

They said Howard was frustrated with the level of care and that led him to carry out the attack. They said if he had had better care, he wouldn't have stabbed Todd but those arguments did not sway jurors.

E-mail: jdouglas@wfaa.com

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