Pennsylvania woman plans to use insanity defense in slaying, dismemberment of parents

Jan 22, 2024, 12:03 PM

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A suburban Philadelphia woman accused of fatally shooting her parents and dismembering their bodies with a chainsaw has notified officials that she intends to use an insanity defense.

Defense attorneys allege in a recent court filing that Verity Beck, 44, of Abington, “was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act she was doing, or that she did not know that what she was doing was wrong.” The (Pottstown) Mercury reported.

Beck’s trial in Montgomery County Court was originally set to begin next month but is now scheduled for April to allow prosecutors to have their own psychiatrist evaluate the defendant.

Prosecutors earlier announced that they would not seek the death penalty against Beck, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts each of first- and third-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and possessing instruments of crime — a firearm and a chainsaw.

The bodies of Reid Beck, 73, and Miriam Beck, 72, were found last January after their son told Abington police he had gone to his parents’ home to check on them. He said he saw a body on a floor, covered with a bloody sheet, and a chainsaw nearby. Prosecutors later said both victims had a single gunshot wound to the head.

The man told police that he spoke to his sister, who also lived there, and that when he asked whether something bad had happened to their parents, she responded, “Yes.” Verity Beck, a former teacher at a special education school in Lower Merion Township, allegedly told her brother that things at home had “been bad.”

Prosecutors have alleged that Beck was facing financial difficulties and her parents had accused her of having stolen from them. Defense attorney James Lyons told The Philadelphia Inquirer earlier that he would seek to have prosecutors barred from using as evidence text exchanges between the victims and the defendant concerning finances.

United States News

Associated Press

Text of the policy statement the Federal Reserve released Wednesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — Below is the statement the Federal Reserve released Wednesday after its latest policy meeting ended: Recent indicators suggest that economic activity has continued to expand at a solid pace. Job gains have remained strong, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Inflation has eased over the past year but remains elevated. In […]

4 minutes ago

Hilton Crawford's Campaign Poster when he ran for Sheriff of Jefferson County in the 1976 Democrati...

Ben Kuebrich, KSL Podcasts

Former officer who kidnapped 12-year-old after tricking parents had red flags in police record

Episode six of Ransom: Position of Trust, dives into Hilton Crawford's past to see who he was and what led him to kidnap Mckay Everett.

40 minutes ago

Associated Press

Oklahoma Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit of last Tulsa Race Massacre survivors seeking reparations

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit of the last two survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, dampening the hope of advocates for racial justice that the government would make amends for one of the worst single acts of violence against Black people in U.S. history. The nine-member […]

52 minutes ago

Associated Press

High school president writes notes thanking fellow seniors — 180 of them

Emily Post would be proud. A high school class president in Massachusetts who gave a commencement speech wanted to recognize all of his fellow graduates. So he wrote them personal thank-you notes presented at the ceremony — 180 to be exact. “I wish I could’ve acknowledged you all, but there was simply not enough time,” […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

AP-NORC poll: About half of US adults approve of Trump’s conviction, but views of him remain stable

NEW YORK (AP) — About half of U.S. adults approve of Donald Trump’s recent felony conviction, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey shows some potential vulnerabilities, along with some signs of resilience in his support, as Trump tries to become the first American with a felony […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge faces inquiry after Illinois attorney was kicked out of court and handcuffed to chair

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County’s top judge has asked state regulators to review allegations that an attorney was handcuffed to a chair after a judge kicked him out of her courtroom. Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans referred misconduct allegations against Judge Kathy Flanagan to the state Judicial Inquiry Board on Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Pennsylvania woman plans to use insanity defense in slaying, dismemberment of parents