Arizona man allegedly severs his own hand, beheads wife and dogs to ‘get the evil out’
A 43-year-old Phoenix, Arizona man allegedly told authorities he was trying to ‘get the evil out’ when he decapitated his wife, while also doing the same to the couple’s two dogs, gouging his own eye out and cutting his left hand off, KPNX-TV reported.
Police arrested Kenneth Dale Wakefield after finding the body of 49-year-old Trina Heisch in their bedroom closet on July 25, along with the two dead animals. According to the Associated Press, a neighbor alerted authorities after Wakefield answered the door naked and covered in blood.
The suspect was charged with first-degree murder and animal cruelty during his initial court appearance on Saturday. Video of his appearance shows Wakefield with a bandage over the area where his hand was.
According to KPNX, Wakefield was released from a state mental hospital last November, 11-and-a-half years after pleading “guilty, except insane” to trying to kill his mother with a knife. Under state law, there is no difference in sentencing guidelines for prisoners in Wakefield’s mental state. At the time of his release, officials stated that they felt his mental issues were “in remission.”
However, a state psychiatric board ordered Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s office around that time to begin efforts to have Wakefield committed, to no avail. A spokesperson for Montgomery said “evidenciary issues” prevented prosecutors from carrying out the order.
The AP reported that Heisch also pleaded “guilty, except insane” in January 2000 for stabbing her then-15-year-old son in his sleep. She spent 10 years in the same mental health facility, where the couple met, before she was released.
Wakefield’s bail has been set at $2 million. A public defender will be appointed to represent him.
Watch footage from the suspect’s first court appearance, as posted by KPNX on Monday, below.