Woman, 79, found guilty of killing ‘geriatric gigolo’
|Woman, 79, found guilty of killing ‘geriatric gigolo’|
A jury convicted 79-year-old Lena Driskell of murder Friday in the shooting of her 85-year-old former boyfriend, rejecting her plea of insanity.
The judge sentenced her to life in prison plus five years for the death of Herman Winslow. Defense attorneys said she would not be eligible for parole for 30 years.
After deliberating for about two hours, the jury convicted her on all four counts — malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.
In closing arguments, Driskell’s attorneys said her belief that her ex-boyfriend was a geriatric gigolo was a delusion that became the motive for shooting him to death after Winslow ended their 14-month relationship.
But prosecutors argued that Driskell could not plead insanity, since she admitted she knew she was wrong when she shot Herman Winslow.
After the verdict, Senior Assistant District Attorney Fani Willis said the verdict sends a message that being elderly is not a pass to commit a violent crime.
“I think she got what she was entitled to get,” Willis said outside the courthouse. “We never felt as though she was entitled to any special privilege because of her age.”
Driskell was taken into custody by Fulton County sheriff’s deputies immediately after she was sentenced. Her attorney, Deborah Poole, said after the trial that Driskell’s conviction now makes her the oldest inmate in the Georgia prison system.
Her confession to police made the case difficult from the start, Poole said.
“When you start a case like that, you have a lot to overcome,” Poole said. “What we had was insanity as our only defense, and a client that was pretty sharp.”