ALFRED, Maine – A Maine woman who drove onto a baseball field and killed a man with her car was not criminally responsible for her actions because of mental illness, a judge ruled Tuesday.
The judge’s conclusion after testimony from two psychologists means Carol Sharrow, 52, of Sanford, will be committed to the Riverview Psychiatric Hospital.
Police say Sharrow sent players and umpires scrambling when she drove onto a Sanford baseball field in June; her car careened around the bases before striking 68-year-old Douglas Parkhurst, of West Newfield. Parkhurst died on the way to a hospital.
Justice John O’Neil said she had “an acute psychiatric illness” and “lacks a substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of her conduct.”
Sharrow was charged with manslaughter, elevated aggravated assault, driving to endanger, reckless conduct and leaving the scene of an accident.
Her attorneys argued Sharrow did not have the ability to appreciate that her behavior was wrong at the time. In October, a judge ordered Sharrow to remain at Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, where she has been receiving treatment.
The judge ruled after hearing testimony from two mental health professionals, one of whom testified that Sharrow had an extensive documented history of bipolar disorder dating back to 1987.
A witness said Parkhurst, whose grandson played on one of the baseball teams, was trying to push children out of the way when he was struck. In a twist of fate, Parkhurst had confessed five years earlier to a 1968 hit-and-run death in New York state.