WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin man who was obsessively concerned about the coronavirus pandemic has been ordered to spend the rest of his life in a mental health institution for stabbing four of his family members, two of them fatally.
Adam Roth, 36, of Waukesha, was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect in the attack, which authorities said was linked to his concerns about coronavirus. He told a detective the day after the stabbing that coronavirus “was coming and I had to save them.”
In March, Roth and his wife, Dominique Roth, were in the kitchen eating when Adam began stabbing Dominique, according to a criminal complaint. When Dominique’s mother, Gilane Popanda, and Gilane’s other daughters, Desiree and Deidre, told him to stop, he “turned on everybody,” the complaint said.
Dominique Roth, 34, her sister, Deidre Popanda, 26, and a family dog died from their injuries. Desiree Popanda, 36, and Gilane Popanda, 62, also suffered significant injuries in the stabbing, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Waukesha County Deputy District Attorney Ted Szczupakiewicz asked for a lifetime commitment for Roth during Monday’s sentencing hearing, requesting institutional care as opposed to conditional release.
“There is clear and convincing evidence that if Mr. Roth would be conditionally released, he would pose a significant risk. And that’s not a risk, at this point, I think anyone would hope the court would take,” he said.
Roth’s attorney, Cameron Weitzner, did not challenge the prosecution’s requested sentence.
“This case is about an individual who is suffering from mental illness and was suffering in a way that I don’t think any of us can understand,” Weitzner said.
Roth earlier pleaded guilty but not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.