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Indiana man gets 40 years in prison after guilty but mentally ill plea in mother’s death

Michael Charles Wilson (Provided Photo/Vigo County Jail)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A western Indiana man who pleaded guilty but mentally ill to a felony charge stemming from his mother’s fatal stabbing has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

A Vigo County judge sentenced Michael Charles Wilson, 42, on Monday after the Terre Haute man pleaded guilty but mentally ill to a charge of burglary with serious bodily injury, the Tribune-Star reported.

A relative found Wilson’s 72-year-old mother, Gayle Wilson, dead in her bedroom in May 2021. Officers called to the scene found bloody garden shears on the floor near her body, which had multiple neck injuries.

Michael Wilson was arrested about 40 miles (64 kilometers) away in Owen County and originally charged with murder and auto theft. Under his plea agreement, those charges were dismissed, and the plea deal called for a 40-year sentence.

In an earlier incident involving her son, Gayle Wilson had told police that Michael Wilson had “severe mental health issues and was currently not taking his medication.”

Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said the court and Gayle Wilson’s family had agreed that the 40-year sentence called for under his plea agreement “was a fair resolution balancing the mental illness component, community safety and bringing closure for the family to this horrible event.”

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