A Pottawattamie judge found a woman guilty of second-degree murder in connection to a deadly stabbing.
According to investigators, Jodie Sherman stabbed Douglas Richt on July 4, 2014, during a heated argument inside a car near 35th Street and Fifth Avenue.
Prosecutors say Sherman lodged a 12-inch knife into the man’s neck, which penetrated more than four inches into the area.
Forgoing a jury trial, the bench trial started Feb. 17 and ended Friday with Judge Kathleen Kilnoski presiding over the case.
During closing arguments, prosecutors urged Kilnoski to consider a first-degree murder charge believing the stabbing was premeditated due to the woman’s documentation of psychosis, battle with substance abuse, and run-ins with the law.
However, the woman's attorney used an insanity defense claiming Sherman's mental illness played a role in the stabbing.
Weighing both verdict options, Kilnoski announced her verdict Monday – which was welcomed by families from both Sherman and Richt.
“I think they're very relieved. They're grateful,” says Matthew Wilber, Pottawattamie County Attorney. “[I] talked to them for a little bit obviously after the judge's verdict and one of them indicated that this verdict helps give them closure and I think that's important.”
Sherman’s family tells KMTV they offer their condolences to the Richt Family and wish they could have helped her sooner.
“I just want her to get the help that she needs and be the best she can be wherever she's put,” says Amie Jurgensen, Sherman’s sister. “We've tried to get her help before and it's sad that it's come to this.”
Kilnoski announced Sherman's sentencing is scheduled for April.