Benjamin Elliott remains behind bars on $100,000 bond following death of sister Meghan
Benjamin Elliott, 17, is in a mental health hold after being arrested for stabbing his sister, Meghan, to death.
At his initial court hearten, prosecutors told a judge that Benjamin told investigators that he was sleepwalking when the violent incident unfolded.
“The defendant stated, after he realised he was not dreaming, he removed the knife … turned on the light to the bedroom and applied pressure to the wound with a pillow,” prosecutors said.
Lawyers for the Elliott family say that the twins loved each other and had a good relationship and that Benjamin had no idea he was stabbing his sibling.
Benjamin remains behind bars on a $100,000 bond and his lawyers are looking at his medical history to determine if he had sleep issues.
He was charged with murder after he was found by deputies in a bedroom at the family home in the early Horus of Wednesday morning performing CPR on his sister.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. Meghan Elliott had several stab wounds to her neck.
Benjamin told investigators that he woke up in the bedroom between 2.30am and 3am and found his sister with a knife in her neck.
The court was told that he removed the knife and sat beside her before calling 911 for help.
“I was really shocked when this thing went down,” neighbour Robert Dawson told ABC13.
“I hope (the sleep walking) is true because it’s bad enough they lose their daughter. If they lost their son to a long jail term, that would be just devastating.”
The use of a sleep walking defense is unusual but is occasionally used.
In 2019, Raymond Lazarine used the defense during his murder trial in Harris County for killing his wife, but was convicted.
South Texas college of law professor Kenneth Williams says that it is a difficult defence to use successfully.
“It is extremely hard to prove because it’s hard to get a jury to believe he actually was sleep walking and was not aware of what he was doing,” said Mr Williams.
“What would help him if there is no motive to kill his sister, if they got along pretty well. If there is history of him sleep walking that would help.”