EVERETT — Jody Sands clapped his shackled hands together Wednesday after he was convicted of murdering his grandfather.
Sands later turned to his mother and said, “I’ll be fine.”
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Linda Krese found Sands guilty of second-degree murder in the 2007 ax-beating death of his wheelchair-bound grandfather, Albert Beasley.
Sands faces more than 10 years in prison.
The prosecution had been delayed for more than a year because Sands, who has a long history of mental illness, including schizophrenia, was deemed incompetent to stand trial on three separate occasions.
Sands was forcibly ordered to take medication, and doctors later determined he was able to assist with his own defense and understood the charge against him.
Sands denies that he suffers from any mental illness. He refused to have a psychological evaluation by an expert who doesn’t work for the state. He also refused to allow his attorney, Caroline Mann, to pursue an insanity defense, according to court documents.
Sands is convinced he will not be imprisoned beyond Dec. 21, 2012 — the last day of the Mayan calendar and the day Sands believes the world will end, according to court documents.
Sands has no prior criminal history.
He was arrested Dec. 19, 2007, after he called 911 and told an emergency operator he had hit his grandfather, 86, in the head with the blunt end of an ax inside their north Everett home. Beasley died nine days later.
Sands told investigators he had “lots of sounds and voices irritating” him and he “did something about it,” according to court documents.
Sands testified during the bench trial that he didn’t hit Beasley. He claimed his grandfather hit his head during a fainting spell.
There was no evidence to support Sands’ claims, Krese said. Beasley was hit at least twice in the head and once in the shoulder. Those injuries weren’t consistent with a fall from his wheelchair, and the multiple blows indicated intent to kill, she said.
Krese said she suspected that Sands’ mental illness likely played a role in the assault, but she had to base the verdict solely on the evidence presented in court.
“I have no choice but to find him guilty,” she said.
Sands is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 26.