Judge: Trebilcock Lacks Criminal Responsibility Due To Mental Disease
Utica, NY (WIBX) – Not guilty by reason of insanity…that’s the verdict Judge Michael Dwyer handed down after presiding over the murder trial of David Trebilcock. Trebilcock was facing three separate charges, including a 2nd degree murder charge, for the stabbing death of 6-year-old Lauren Belius. The killing took place last July in the Sherill home the suspect shared with the child’s mother, twin sister and brother.
After both sides presented their closing arguments this morning in Oneida County Court, the judge took ten minutes before rendering his verdict. Dwyer said, “The court finds that Mr. Trebilcock lacked criminal responsibility by reason of mental disease or defect. Please note that I did not find that the defendant was not guilty. My finding is that he lacked criminal responsibility because of his mental disease or defect.”
Judge Dwyer said he based his verdict on the findings of the mental health experts called to testified in the case. The Judge also issued an order to have a psychiatrist conduct an examination of Trebilcock. During that time, he will remain in Oneida County Jail until the examination is complete. After a report is produced, a hearing will be held to determine if Trebilcock has a dangerous mental disorder. If found to be dangerous, he will be committed to a secure mental health facility for one year. He can be held for two more years after the initial one-year term if he remains mentally ill.
Judge Dwyer says because of Trebilcock’s poor prognosis, he will more than likely spend the rest of his life confined to a secure mental health facility. John Belius, the victim’s paternal grandfather said, “I always felt it was right, but I think now that it’s just a travesty of justice for this thing. … This monster should never be able to walk the face of this earth again as far as I’m concerned.” After the verdict, the family read a poem and released balloons in honor of Lauren Belius on the front steps of the court house.
Throughout the trial Trebilcock remained stone-faced, and other than to take a drink of water, kept his head down throughout the proceedings.
Video of Judge Dwyer rendering his verdict:
Video of Belius family members reading poem and releasing balloons in honor of Lauren: