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Jul 2, 2013 6:42 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News

Paso woman charged with killing her mom pleads not guilty

A Paso Robles woman accused of murdering her 61-year-old mother pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Sunni Jackson, 37, entered dual pleas Tuesday morning in a San Luis Obispo Superior Court room.

The first plea was not guilty and the second was not guilty by reason of insanity. In April of 2012, police found Jackson sitting outside a home on Olive Street in Paso Robles and her mother, Earlene Grove, dead inside. An autopsy revealed that Grove had been stabbed multiple times.

Jackson was set to be arraigned for the murder charge of killing her mother in April of 2012, but according to Sheriff's Officials, she became so disruptive in the court holding cell that she was sent back to county jail.

In May, the court declared doubt as to her mental competency and a judge ordered Jackson to Patton State Hospital, a psychiatric facility in San Bernardino.

Her attorney, public defender Jim Maguire said she has schizophrenia; however, she was recently deemed competent to appear in court.

"If you were found not guilty by reason of insanity that doesn't mean you would necessarily just go home. You would be housed in a mental facility until such time that you may be released, but you could be in a state hospital for the rest of your life," said Judge Trice.

Judge Trice asked Jackson if she understood what the dual pleas mean. Initially she was confused, so he restated what could happen, and she expressed understanding but wanted the court to hear her words.

"I am not a murderer. I am not killer. I am very caring person. I was very loving to my mother. I was very caring and I helped her," she said.

Doctors from USC will evaluate Jackson's mental well-being at the time of the murder. They will create a report and give it to the District Attorney and Judge Trice before her next court appearance, which was set for July 30, 2013.

The report will set the stage for the trial and help determine if she is insane.

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