English Spanish

(937) 952-5043


Dayton Mother Ruled Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity

Home|Blog|Criminal Defense|Dayton Mother Ruled Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity

As reported on by NBC 4 Columbus, Judge Dennis J. Langer has ruled Claudena Helton — a 30-year-old woman from Dayton, Ohio who confessed to killing her two children in 2017 — not guilty by reason of insanity. Helton was represented by our founder and lead attorney Anthony S. VanNoy.

Legally Insane: Helton Was Unable to Understand Her Actions

According to police, Claudia Helton confessed to shooting her two children in order to save them and protect them from “evil in the world.” When she was found by law enforcement officers, they indicated that Helton was naked and that she was in a trance-like state. Helton was facing the death penalty after being charged with two counts of aggravated murder.

Comprehensive psychological testing was ordered to determine her mental state. After reviewing expert testimony, medical exhibits, reports from three licensed physicians, and other relevant evidence, Judge Langer determined that Helton was legally insane at the time that the deaths of her children occurred. Notably, two out of the three medical evaluations of her mental status assessed Helton as being legally insane.

NBC Columbus reports that Helton is being committed to Summit Behavioral Healthcare — a psychiatric institution located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The length of time she will be committed to the facility will depend on the assessment of medical professionals. Though, regardless, she will be monitored for the rest of her life.

The Standard for Establishing Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity in Ohio

Under Ohio law (R.C. 2901.01(A)(14)), a defendant is only not guilty by reason of insanity if, as a result of severe mental disease or defect, he or she did not and could not know the wrongfulness of his or her actions. When an insanity defense is pursued, a detailed psychological evaluation will be required. As insanity is an ‘affirmative defense’ in Ohio, the burden of proof rests with the defense. As our Dayton criminal defense lawyer Anthony VanNoy established in this case, Helton was unable to understand her actions. Her mental condition made it impossible for her to comprehend the consequences of what she was doing.  

Get Help From a Dayton, OH Criminal Defense Attorney Today

At The VanNoy Firm, we are dedicated to defending the rights of the accused. A highly respected criminal defense attorney, Anthony S. VanNoy fights tirelessly to protect his clients. To set up a fully confidential initial consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us today. With an office in Dayton, we represent defendants in Montgomery County and throughout the state of Ohio.



About The Author

Anthony S. VanNoy

Trial Attorney

As seen on

You May Also Like Other Posts

August 29, 2022

Am I Eligible for Citizenship through Naturalization?

If you are looking to live in the United States as a permanent resident, it’s important to explore every option. Immigration laws determine the various pathways to citizenship, and each…

Read More
August 29, 2022

Ohio Property Seizure Laws: What You Need to Know if Arrested

Imagine sitting in your home one evening when out of nowhere, without any warning, police officers come barreling through your doors. Now imagine being thrown to the ground and held…

Read More
August 16, 2022

Is It Worth It to Fight My Traffic Violation?

After being pulled over by the police, you may be understandably worried about your future. A traffic violation is a criminal infraction, and even a single violation can have a…

Read More

How Can We Help You?

Make a consultation with our expert team to solve your problems.

Fill out the form below to schedule a consultation.

Call Now Button