Woman Who Assaulted Neighbor, Stole Unborn Baby to Plead Insanity

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 15, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Woman Who Assaulted Neighbor, Stole Unborn Baby to Plead Insanity

Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 15, 2006

Kittanning, PA (LifeNews.com) — A woman who drew national attention when she cut open another woman’s stomach and stole her unborn child will plead insanity, according to court papers filed by her attorney.

Peggy Jo Conner’s attorney David DeFazio says she suffers from "severe mental disorders, including but not limited to psychosis and schizophrenia" and he told AP he would rely on an insanity defense for her.

The court documents also show that DeFazio wants the court to pay for a psychiatrist or psychologist to conduct a mental evaluation on Conner because she is unable to afford it.

The Associated Press reports that a hearing is scheduled for later this month on the motion.

Conner is accused of hitting Valerie Lynn Oskin with a baseball bat and then driving Oskin to a remote area.

Oskin, who is 30, told local officials she "definitely" recalls her neighbor Conner as her attacker. Conner nearly killed Oskin and her baby as she sliced open her stomach in an attempt to steal the child.

Oskin’s baby was delivered at the hospital and is in fine condition.

Conner is currently being held without bail and has been charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and aggravated assault of an unborn child. The third charge involves a Pennsylvania law pro-life advocates helped get through the state legislature that allows prosecutors to charge criminals who assault a pregnant woman and kill or injure her unborn child.

The teenager who discovered Conner attacking Oskin says Conner "laughed" about the whole ordeal. Adam Silvis, 17, discovered the woman and told his father, who was about 150 yards away, about the uproar.

He says the suspect, Peggy Jo Conner, sat on her car laughing as Silvis and his dad waited for police to arrive at the scene.

"It was so bizarre," Silvis told the Associated Press. Conner "told me everything was fine and she was trying to find a place to hunt around here. I just said OK and left because I knew I had to keep my calm and act like I didn’t think anything was wrong so she wouldn’t take off."

He described Conner as "like a hollow shell. She had almost no emotion."

Silvis told WTAE-TV that Conner, 38, tried to drive off but he and his father prevented that from happening. Conner later claimed she would take Valerie Lynn Oskin, the woman she attacked, to a hospital.