Man Found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity in Connection with Stabbing Aboard Amtrak Train

A Michigan man accused of stabbing four people aboard Amtrak’s Blue Water last year has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

The ruling was rendered on Wednesday in the trial of Michael Darnell Williams, 45, of Saginaw, Michigan.

Judge Dennis Wiley found Williams not guilty by reason of insanity. Williams will now be processed by the Michigan mental health system.

The incident occurred in December 2014 as the train neared Niles, Michigan.

Trial testimony showed that as the train stopped and police approached, Williams stabbed a conductor and three passengers.

Nile police, who had been called prior to the train’s arrival due to what was termed strange behavior by Williams during the train’s journey from Chicago, used a stun gun to subdue Williams.

On a motion from his attorney, Williams was examined by the Michigan Center for Forensic Psychiatry.

An examiner found Williams to be mentally ill and suffering from a delusional disorder that “caused him to be incapable of accurately perceiving his environment, a symptom of his mental illness which was documented in the days preceding the offenses,” the report concluded.

“Rather than consider his options and make a decision to engage in illegal behavior, Mr. Williams appears to have reacted spontaneously and only in consideration of delusional information. Based on his report of the offense, supported by collateral information, he harbored specific delusions that others were following him with the intentions to cause him serious harm or kill him. It appears Mr. Williams was unable to reflect as to what would happen if he acted in such a manner.”

Michigan law defines legal insanity as a mental illness that results in a person lacking substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of his or her conduct or to conform that conduct to the requirements of law.

Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic hired an independent examiner to review the report and found it to be credible.

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