Sanity, battered women’s syndrome hearing continued for Middletown woman charged in sister’s death

The two were involved in a physical fight before shooting, officials said.

A hearing for a Middletown woman accused of shooting and killing her sister last fall who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity was postponed Thursday morning.

Monica Ann Pennington, 49, of 1607 Lafayette Ave., was charged with murder and felonious assault in the death of her sister, Pamela Pennington on Oct. 20. The 52-year-old woman was found dead in the living room of the residence after Monica called 911, according to Middletown police.

On Dec.. 2, Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth said according to her psychological evaluation, Pennington was incompetent to stand trial. After receiving treatment, the judge ruled in May that Pennington is now for trial. A trial date was set for Sept. 12.

Defense attorney David Brewer also entered at not-guilty by reason of insanity plea due to battered women’s syndrome on her behalf. Spaeth ordered Pennington undergo another psychological evaluation in light of that plea.

ExploreMiddletown woman accused of killing sister pleads insanity

Incompetent to stand trial refers to a defendant’s ability to assist in their own defense and understand the charges against them at the time they are charged.

The insanity plea different and must be determined by jury or judge. It is a plea the claims a person was suffering from a mental defect at the time of the alleged crime and could not understand the wrongfulness of their actions.

Thursday’s hearing was rescheduled to July 14 because more time was needed for the evaluation.

At her arraignment, Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Dan Phillips said the sisters were involved in a physical fight, which was not uncommon in their lives, when Monica walked into her sister’s bedroom, grabbed her pistol, walked back to her sister and pointed it at her.

Phillips said it was supposed to be a murder-suicide, but Pennington did not go through with the suicide part.

About the Author