Casper Man Accused Of Stabbing Elderly Family Members Pleads Insanity

George Kevin Dickerson has evoked an insanity plea for allegedly stabbing and beating his in-laws until his stepfather-in-law died and his mother-in-law nearly died.

Clair McFarland

March 15, 20234 min read

George Dickerson Mug 1 10 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

By Clair McFarland, State Courts and Crime Reporter 

A Casper man accused of murdering his father-in-law and trying to murder his mother-in-law now will be evaluated by state psychiatric staff after evoking an insanity plea.   

George Kevin Dickerson, 61, will remain in custody in Natrona County while Wyoming State Hospital Criminal Justice Service personnel study his mental state, according to a March 7 order by Natrona County District Court Judge Joshua Eames.  

Dickerson gave a plea of “not guilty by reason of mental illness” to the charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder, in a Feb. 24 arraignment hearing. 

Eames’ order directs the psychiatric examiner to discover whether Dickerson is mentally deficient now and whether he was when he allegedly stabbed and beat his in-laws in their Casper bedroom on the evening of Jan. 8.   

Rose Dennis, 84, is still alive, but Dickerson’s stepfather-in-law Andy Martin, 75, died overnight at the scene.   

Dickerson turned himself in the next day.   

Eames’ order considers Dickerson’s supervised release as a possibility, but only if many conditions are met.   

‘If Released On Supervision’  

To be found not guilty by reason of mental illness, a defendant must show that he was so mentally ill or deficient at the time of a crime that he lacked the substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the law.   

After that finding, the state can still incarcerate defendants, but only for as long as they pose a serious risk to themselves or others.   

Eames’ order says that if the examiner finds Dickerson was too mentally ill or deficient to be judged guilty of the murder and attempted murder, the examiner next needs to determine whether Dickerson is still mentally ill, whether he’s a danger to himself or others and whether he needs care, supervision or treatment.   

If Dickerson does need supervision or treatment, Eames’ order says, the examiner should determine whether Dickerson “can be controlled adequately … if released on supervision.”   

It Happens  

It is not common, but there are Wyoming defendants who have been found not guilty due to mental illness, then released when they were no longer considered a danger.   

Patrick Lee Rose of Dubois was accused in 2020 of gouging out a woman’s eye in a spontaneous Thanksgiving Day attack while both were in SageWest Health Care of Lander for mental issues.   

The elderly woman, Elaine Tillman, died days later at a hospital in Utah.   

Prosecutors proposed a murder charge.   

The following June, however, former Lander Circuit Court Judge Robert Denhardt ordered Rose be released to the care of his wife, who is a nurse. The order came after state psychiatric personnel determined that Rose was no longer a danger to himself or others, though he had been mentally unable to be found guilty at the time of the murder.   

Bled Out 

According to court testimony given at Dickerson’s preliminary hearing, both Dennis and Martin were found on the floor of their bedroom in a Casper home Jan. 8 after Dickerson reportedly called 911 dispatch and said he’d killed them with a knife. 

Dennis reportedly lay at Martin’s feet and Martin’s head rested on Dennis’ CPAP machine. Police found blood on the floor, walls, ceiling and on both victims, the investigating agent said.    

Evidence in the case suggests the stabbings and beatings happened the night before. Martin was cold to the touch when police arrived, but police heard Dennis uttering distressed moans, so they took her to a hospital, according to court testimony.   

Police said they found stab wounds on Martin’s chest and neck.  

Dickerson called police to report the attacks, which he called a double homicide, at about 7 a.m. the morning of Jan. 8, court documents state.   

He told police where he and his Suburban could be found in Casper. Police soon arrived and arrested him. They later found a bloody washcloth and pillow in his Suburban, according to court testimony.   

Dickerson had reportedly told police that after the attacks, he went home and took a shower. There were roughly 11 hours between the suspected time of the attacks and Dickerson’s call to dispatch, documents and court testimony indicate.   

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter