A young teen who killed his intoxicated mother plans to plead not guilty in juvenile court, with the argument that he had the legal right to defend himself and his younger brother, according to his lawyer.
Wichita Eagle reports that the boy’s attorney, Dan Monnat, filed a motion to dismiss a voluntary manslaughter charge against the boy for the death of his mother, Lisa Trimmell, 41. Trimmell was killed inside her home close to Andover in June 2018.
According to court documents, Trimmell, who was going through a tumultuous divorce with her sons’ father, had visitation with her sons, ages 14 and 12, the day her oldest son shot her. Trimmell lived alone in the 8,500-square-foot mansion off of North 159th East.
Trimmell’s husband, orthodontist Justin Trimmell, moved out of the home several months prior, taking the children with him. A court order required the boys to have bi-weekly “parenting time” with their mother. During the month prior to the shooting, Justin Trimmell filed for divorce.
Monnat said Trimmell was an alcoholic who mentally and physically abused her children. On the day in question, the 14-year-old shot Trimmel one time in the neck. He then immediately dialed 911.
Trimmell was reportedly physically assaulting the youngest brother before she was shot, the attorney claimed. An autopsy later indicated she had “hepatic cirrhosis” and “acute and chronic alcoholism” at the time of her death. Her blood alcohol at the time registered at 0.185, according to court documents.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, however, previously stated that Trimmell’s death was “suspicious.” The autopsy also confirmed she had 16 blunt-force injuries in areas on her scalp, forehead, and lower leg. However, it’s unclear where the injuries came from and may have resulted from a fall and/or resuscitation attempts.
Monnat argued that the older brother was only trying to protect his younger sibling.
“For many years, Lisa Trimmell was a devoted, loving mother who raised two intelligent, polite and well-behaved young boys to lead good lives,” Monnat said. “But, the autopsy of Lisa Trimmell confirms her death is another instance of the rampant disease of adult alcohol abuse leading to tragic results. Lisa long suffered the effects of chronic alcoholism, including physically abusing her two young boys.”
“This tragic event should not now be made more tragic by second-guessing the difficult decisions made that night through the prosecution of a child. Under clear Kansas law, children have as much right to defend themselves and their siblings against repeated acts of violent abuse as anybody else.”
Defense attorneys wrote that both boys suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after living with years of alleged emotional and physical abuse by their mother. The boys’ PTSD symptoms intensified when their mother drank alcohol, a counselor reportedly stated.
Friends described Trimmell as a loving, happy mother who “couldn’t hurt anybody,”
“[She was] very down-to-earth, humble, simple, easy to love, just a true, truly good person,” friend Sheri Love told The Eagle.
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
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[Feature Photo: Lisa Trimmell/ Handout]