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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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10/31/2012 10:43:00 PM
Williams pleads guilty except insane in Chino Valley murder
Patrick Williams
Patrick Williams
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT- Patrick Williams on Tuesday pleaded guilty except insane in the 2010 murder of Stella Streppa, and will serve up to 38 years in the Arizona State Hospital.

Williams, 20, was arrested after deputies went to the Chino Valley home of Streppa, 67, on a welfare check on Dec. 4 because a relative said she hadn't heard from Streppa recently.

When deputies went into the house in the 900 block of Sonshine lane, they found Streppa's body. She was wrapped in a carpet and stuffed into a living room closet. Streppa has been stabbed 23 times and had a broken jaw, broken ribs and a shattered skull.

Deputies noticed that Streppa's blue Chevy Silverado truck was missing, and issued an attempt-to-locate bulletin to local law enforcement agencies.

A deputy found Streppa's truck in the Granite Street Parking Garage in Prescott, saw Williams driving nearby in another vehicle, stopped him, and detained him for detectives.

They determined that he had befriended Streppa, and ultimately killed her. Williams was charged with first-degree murder, burglary and theft of a means of transportation.

Tuesday, he pleaded guilty except insane to second-degree murder, armed burglary and armed robbery.

Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley will hold his commitment hearing on Nov. 30. Williams faces between 16 and 38 years in the Arizona State Hospital.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2012
Article comment by: charles st. martin

he used to work for her and was her neighbor .... not mentioned.... she owned a pizza shop

Posted: Saturday, November 03, 2012
Article comment by: To To Hey

Mmmmmm, not so much. A conviction is a conviction is a conviction.

Posted: Friday, November 02, 2012
Article comment by: TO: Hey Perry Mason

"Guilty" and "guilty but insane" are two distinctly different legal concepts.

Posted: Friday, November 02, 2012
Article comment by: Hey Perry Mason

He did plead guilty. Guilty except insane. Off to the State Hospital for 16-38 years. If he is returned to his sanity, it's off to prison for the remainder of that term.

Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012
Article comment by: Perry Mason

So what happens if he undergoes treatment (on the taxpayers dime...) and is declared sane at some point?? Will he then be released? The state cannot keep a sane person incarcerated in the state hospital. Since he wasn't convicted and didn't plead "guilty" to these charges, he can't be incarcerated in prison nor can they try him due to double jeopardy. What then?

Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

You guys all need to relax. This is Judge Ainley we're talking about. He'll get probation.

Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012
Article comment by: Friend Friend

Knowing Stella I have watched this case very carefully and it is very tragic that this boy is not getting convicted of this horrible crime on a very sweet and loving person. Time in jail or a mental facility will not bring back Stella, but I hope it gives him time to reflect on the life he chose to take.

Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012
Article comment by: David Price

Reason #125,487 the state hates us, it's citizens. It simply refuses to wield the tool God gave it, the sword, to punish evil doers.

Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012
Article comment by: Say What?

So the guy is "sane" enough gain the confidence of a person. Yet, is not "sane" enough to spend the rest of his life in jail (or face the death penalty) for brutally murdering a person?

Here's one, how about we have a program where a murder, even if found "insane", gets tried and sentenced, then receives treated for their mental health issues, and when the doctor's determine they are competent, we carry out the sentence.

Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012
Article comment by: Surprise Defense

It is rare to see someone plead and be convicted by reason of insanity anymore. I believe most people who commit heinous crimes are insane. But is unusual to see someone being sent to the state hospital instead of prison. It is very sad that a 20 year old man would befriend an elderly woman only to steal from her then murder her. My thoughts are with Stella Streppa's family and loved ones.

Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012
Article comment by: Is it Legal

I have seen a few where they have been sentenced to 20 year now between 16 and 32 in a state mental ward. I have always understood that they were to be there until no longer a danger to themselves or others ( whether it be 2 or 40 years) and then released. Now the judge is saying you need to be there x amount of years? I was unaware that passing the bar and becoming a judge included a mental health degree.

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