Paragraph 14 reads: "Higgins said Pinckard's doctors
believe the Prozac
she was taking before the shooting caused her behavior
; it acted as a catalyst for a hidden bipolar
Last paragraph reads: "Higgins said Pinckard's psychiatrists testified that if she had not taken Prozac, her condition may never have manifested itself.
Woman who killed daughter released on probation
Posted on July 11, 2003
Paula Pinckard: had been "the all-American housewife," attorney says.
COLFAX -- In March 2000, Paula Pinckard shot her 11-year-old daughter Aubrey to death before shooting herself in their Rock Hill home.
On Thursday, Pinckard was released from Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System, formerly Feliciana Forensic Facility, a hospital for the criminally insane, according to Grant Parish District Attorney Jay Lemoine.
After a hearing in 35th Judicial District Court, Judge Alfred Mansour ruled that Pinckard can return home to Grant Parish on five years supervised probation. Pinckard, 38, may not take care of children under 15 years of age and may not be alone with children under 15, Mansour ruled.
Mansour also ordered Pinckard to attend Alexandria Mental Health Center for monthly treatment, or more frequently, depending on her doctor's opinion.
Pinckard may not possess weapons and must submit to random drug testing.
Lemoine said his office opposed Pinckard's release, but her doctors believe she is not a danger to herself or to others -- the criteria used to decide if patients should be released from mental hospitals.
"The treatment team said she had had a psychotic episode" when she shot her daughter, Lemoine said, and they feel an extremely small chance exists that Pinckard will have another episode.
"I understand what" Mansour "based his decision on," Lemoine said.
"However, given the short time since this incident occurred, I felt the best thing would be for her to be monitored in an in-patient setting before being released," the DA added.
Pinckard will not be living with her oldest daughter, now a college student, he said, adding that Pinckard's family and community have supported her since the shooting.
In the March 28, 2000, incident, Pinckard used a .38-caliber revolver to shoot and kill Aubrey, an honor student at South Grant Elementary School in Dry Prong. The shooting took place in their home in Rock Hill, located about 9 miles south of Colfax on U.S. Highway 71.
Pinckard also shot the family dog before shooting herself in the stomach in a suicide attempt. She was in critical condition after the shooting but recovered.
Pinckard was found innocent of murder by reason of insanity in November 2000. She was committed to Feliciana in February 2001.
Pinckard's lawyer, George Higgins, said Pinckard has been getting passes from the hospital for at least a year, some lasting as long as two weeks.
Higgins said Pinckard's doctors believe the Prozac she was taking before the shooting caused her behavior; it acted as a catalyst for a hidden bipolar condition.
"That's something that makes this case extremely unique," Higgins said. "Most defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to Feliciana have a history of violent behavior.
"Paula is the opposite. She was active at church, with children, the all-American housewife."
Higgins said Pinckard's psychiatrists testified that if she had not taken Prozac, her condition may never have manifested itself.
Julia Robb: 487-6378;