Pigman guilty; sanity phase begins
#1 Feb 23, 2009
PASADENA - Jurors on Monday found George Wood Pigman IV guilty of first-degree murder for stabbing his Japanese-exchange-student girlfriend to death with barbecue tongs in May 2005.
Pigman now faces a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
The sanity phase of the trial began Monday afternoon. Pigman's attorneys argued that the 27-year-old man was mentally ill when he killed Eimi Yamada, 21. The outcome of the hearing will determine whether Pigman spends his sentence in prison or at a mental institution.
Pigman's attorneys, public defenders Jose Colon and Darby Williams, acknowledged from the trial's outset that Pigman killed Yamada, but they argued that he was insane when he committed the crime.
George Pigman (Hand in)"It wasn't surprising," Colon said Monday of the verdict. "It was disappointing that (the jury) didn't seem to know the difference between murder in the first or second degree."
Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, would not comment on the verdict until the sanity phase is completed.
Yamada began studying English in July 2004 at the Poly Languages Institute in Pasadena and also took English-as-a-Second Language classes at Pasadena City College in January 2005 and February 2005.
Police found her body in the bathroom of her San Gabriel apartment on May 7, 2005. Deputies found Pigman, naked and covered in blood, on a rooftop in the 6800 block of La Prensa Avenue in San Gabriel, about a block away.
Pigman, the son of a Caltech English professor, studied journalism and English at Pasadena City College from the fall of 2001 to the spring of 2004.
A sheriff's deputy who transported him to jail testified last week that Pigman told him "the only way to fight this is temporary insanity."
A psychiatrist at the Twin Towers jail where Pigman has been held for the last 3 1/2 years diagnosed him with Bipolar I disorder weeks after his arrest, citing delusional and irritable behavior he displayed in prison.
Dr. Barbara Counter, a forensic and clinical psychologist and the first witness called by Pigman's attorneys in Monday's sanity hearing, agreed with the bipolar diagnosis. Counter examined Pigman twice in the summer of June 2006 and testified that he suffered from severe psychotic episodes that included delusions and aggressive behavior.
"It was my opinion that he did suffer from a very serious mental disease at the time of the crime and that while he was bludgeoning Miss Yamada he did not understand the legal or moral reasons why it was wrong," she said.
Counter also noted that Pigman's family had "an extraordinary history of mood disorders." Such disorders are often genetic, she said.
The sanity phase is scheduled to continue today.
#2 Feb 24, 2009
Why would he do this.
He should go to the mental hospital. She had no right to be stabbed with barbecue tongs!
She had a probably full and successful life ahead of her.
#3 Feb 25, 2009
send the guy to a prison. he murdered someone, so now it's time to pay the price.
#4 Mar 7, 2009
What a jerk. I think he's just playing/faking bipolar disorder so that he can get out of jail. I'd say he's guilty! This guys shouldn't be allowed less than life sentence or death sentence. His dad shouldn't be teaching either, he might go in an outrage and start killing students. Like son like father~
#5 Aug 23, 2009
I was in jail with this guy in 2006. We ate nacho chips together.
He's not crazy, just faking it to go to "State Hospital" where it's more luxurious than Prison.
Wow...f**king wow. He let me borrow some good books though. Nice of him. In case you wonder I was doing 2 years for assault.
#6 Aug 26, 2009
I actually knew George personally for many many years he was friends with my brother Jesse roommates for about a year in Pasadena. The only disagreement i have with you is that i always thought he was indeed insane, he had alot of mental problem and adding drugs to the mix did not help and caused everyone that did try to help him to abandon him. He has written me several times and i have never responded, Iím so very sad someone died at his hand but it was bound to happen sooner or later.
#7 Apr 25, 2012
I went to waldorf elementary with George 4/5 grade / we would chill on weekends - he was always a Lil off - I could tell as a Lil kid something was wrong - real said for both familys
#8 Jun 12, 2014
Eimi was a former Foreign Exchange student that lived with my sister and brother-in-law. She had moved out a few weeks prior to her death and into her own apartment. Eimi was a BEAUTIFUL and very nice young lady who DID NOT deserve to die at the hands of this grug addict/psycho. I pray they "NEVER" let him back out on the streets and into society for fear he may harm another innocent person! George killed Eimi because she didn't give him more money to buy his drugs!!! Truly a sad ending to a bright future ruined by someone who needed Serious help!
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