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A Wisconsin man has been committed to a mental hospital for life after stabbing to death two family members and a dog, later saying he was trying to “save them” from the coronavirus.
Adam Roth, 36, started the morning of March 10 by waking up everyone in his house at 5 a.m. to tell them he loved them and was sorry for everything he’d done to them, according to a criminal complaint obtained by FOX6 News. Roth had recently been “acting obsessive” about the coronavirus, and before 6 a.m. he started saying he was going to collect all personal protective equipment in the house and give it to a hospital, a family member later recalled.
That evening, he and his wife, Dominique Roth, were in the kitchen eating when he allegedly picked up a large knife and started stabbing her, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Hearing screaming, another unnamed family member ran into the room and beat Roth over the head with a chair – but Roth reportedly just got up, went to the bathroom and started stabbing another victim, his sister-in-law Deidre Popanda.
There, two other unnamed family members tried to wrestle the knife out of Roth’s hands, but were unsuccessful, according to the complaint. Roth then allegedly began searching for a 9-year-old boy who was living in the house, but three unnamed victims fended him off while the boy ran next door.
“They did this to me,” Roth was reportedly heard saying while he slashed at his family, according to the complaint.
Deputies arrived on scene to find two injured, blood-soaked women outside the house.
“He’s stabbing them inside,” one of the women told the deputies.
Authorities entered to find a home splattered with blood. They shouted for Roth, and he stepped out at the top of the stairs, still carrying the bloodstained knife, according to the complaint. Roth was instructed twice to put down his weapon, and he did so.
“Alright, I am done now,” he reportedly said, putting his hands on his head.
Deputies searched the home to find Popanda and a family dog dead on scene and Roth's wife drawing her last breaths, according to the Journal Sentinel.
“Why did he do this? Please help me,” Dominique Roth said, before succumbing to her 19 knife wounds.
Roth was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree homicide, two counts of attempted first-degree homicide, one count of reckless endangerment, and causing the death of an animal with a dangerous weapon, according to online court records. The last two charges were later dismissed.
When questioned about his actions, Roth justified them by referring to the coronavirus.
“It was coming and I had to save them,” Roth told a detective, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Roth pleaded not guilty in court by reason of insanity. Family members said Roth had recently been “acting obsessive” about the virus, and a report by two doctors confirmed he’d shown a “precipitous decline in psychiatric stability” prior to the incident, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Roth was sentenced on Monday to two life commitments and two 60-year commitments in a mental institution.
“I wish all people could know, realize and understand that mental illness is real, not an excuse or a story to tell. It is as real as someone who has cancer or heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure or even broken bones,” Rohn Roth, Roth’s father, told the court, according to the newspaper.
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