Nearly eight years after being committed to a state mental health facility, a Tulsa, Oklahoma mother who murdered her six-year-old child is being released.
49-year-old Sheilla Shea suffered a nervous breakdown in July of 2005 and wound up stabbing her six-year-old son Patric to death. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 2006 and was involuntarily committed to a state mental health facility for treatment. Now, Shea says she is trying to come to terms with what she did.
“I don’t play the ‘what if’ game because it is very detrimental,” said Shea. “It hurts so bad.”
Shea says that around the time of the murder, she had slowly been headed towards a nervous breakdown due to an abusive relationship.
“I was waiting for my mom and my sister to come from Texas,” said Shea. “I was going to load my kids up and go to Texas. He [abuser] told me if I tried to leave him, he would have people kill me. It really scared me.”
While she was waiting with her children to leave for Texas, however, Shea suffered a mental breakdown and wound up brutally stabbing Patric. Her adult son saw her stabbing the young boy and tackled the knife out of her hand.
“Sometimes I think: What if we would have made it to Texas? What if this? What if that?” said Shea. “They missed me by seven hours. … I couldn’t hang on.”
Shea has had nearly eight years since being committed to the facility to work on getting better and to try to come to terms with what she did, and while she says it hasn’t been easy, she knows she has to keep moving forward now that she’s been released.
“Somebody asked me if I was going to celebrate, and I said, ‘It is not a celebration,’” said Shea. “It’s hard to be sane and know what I did. It’s not a celebration. It’s me trying to find peace with what I did. I wanted to die. I wanted the lethal injection. I begged her [attorney]. Sometimes it’s really hard to live with what I did. It’s awful. It’s something I will have to live with for the rest of my life, and I try to find peace within myself to be able to live with myself.”