The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Craig Rolle, the 'King of England' Found Insane, Guilty of Murder

Not that it wasn't somewhat apparent from his claims of being the reigning monarch of England, or his stated belief that the Royal Family would intervene on his behalf, but it is now official: Craig Christopher Rolle, King of England, resident of Tustin, is insane.

At least, that was the verdict by the jury, reports the Orange County Register. Last week, Rolle was convicted of first-degree murder of his stepmother, Tabea Kenney. Witnesses said that Rolle had tried to break into the window of the victim's apartment and when that failed, knocked in the front door after his stepmother opened the door to see what the commotion was outside.

Witnesses stated that they heard her plead for her life before she was stabbed over sixty times.

The first-degree murder conviction seemed to be almost a foregone conclusion due to the evidence against Rolle. First-degree requires premeditation or planning, which was evident from Rolle purchasing the four inch folding knife earlier in the day followed by his sustained efforts to break into the house.

It was then the defense's job to prove that Rolle was insane.

In California, the defense has to prove separately from the underlying criminal charge that the defendant was insane. They follow what is referred to as the M'Naughten Test, which means that the defendant either did not know what he was doing when he did it (he thought he was cutting an apple) or he was so far gone that he could not distinguish right from wrong.

Rolle's defense attorney claimed that his client suffered from numerous mental illnesses, including paranoid schizophrenia. He was allegedly unable to follow what was going on during the trial and instead wanted to discuss trains. Rolle's father, Craig Kenney, stated that the family had previously sought to have his son kept in a locked facility due to his erratic behavior.

Craig Christopher Rolle will now face a hearing to determine whether he qualifies for outpatient therapy or a locked facility. His attorney, Robert Knox, stated that it is likely that Rolle will be in a locked facility for a long time.

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