CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Admiral attacker Kierra Ward found not guilty by reason of insanity

(October 2017 photo by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)

A year and a half ago, that was the scene in Admiral before police arrested Kierra M. Ward, 27, after she attacked a woman who was walking along the street with her baby. Today, the case against Ward was resolved with a ruling that she was not guilty by reason of insanity, and she has been committed to Western State Hospital. Ward had been charged with two counts of assault – first degree for attacking the mother (who was seriously hurt; her baby was unharmed) and second degree for threatening a man who came to the victim’s rescue. Last July, Ward was found not competent to stand trial and sent to Western State Hospital for attempted restoration of competency; in December, we reported, she was found competent, and her lawyer indicated the insanity defense would be pursued. With today’s ruling, according to court documents, Ward acknowledges committing the crimes but is acquitted because, the court finds, she “was insane at the time of the commission of the act(s) charged.” The order finds that “detention in a state mental hospital” is called for because she is a danger to herself and others. What the documents don’t say is how long that commitment might last or what the criteria would be for its end, so we’ll be following up.

10 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Admiral attacker Kierra Ward found not guilty by reason of insanity"

  • Mj May 10, 2019 (5:38 pm)

    The insanity is that a person who attacked and seriously hurt a woman with a baby is not being locked up for good!

  • Swede. May 10, 2019 (5:42 pm)

    Makes you wonder if being in a mental institution is better or worse than a jail… but with no given length it could theoretically be lifetime. 

    • KT May 10, 2019 (10:20 pm)

      Or it could be six months.

  • wscommuter May 10, 2019 (10:47 pm)

    I don’t know how long she’ll be held, but I’ll bet her stay is much longer than “6 months” … people found “not guilty by reason of insanity” (which is actually quite rare) don’t get well or safe in just a few months.  Precisely because it’s so difficult to obtain an “NGI” verdict, that finding is reserved for those like this woman who have severe psychological conditions that aren’t easily helped without lengthy institutionalization and treatment.  And yes, being there is typically much worse than jail.  If you’ve never been to visit a facility where dangerous insane people are incarcerated (and yes, incarcerated as in prison), you’ve not seen this side of hell.  

  • West Seattle Hipster May 11, 2019 (8:27 am)

    I am hoping that the victim in the vicious attack is healing from the wounds that Ward inflicted on her.   Is it possible for her to file a civil suit against Ward to help cover medical expenses?

    • cjboffoli May 11, 2019 (9:23 am)

      WSH: Trying to collect a civil judgment from a possibly homeless, apparently mentally ill person would be an expensive exercise in futility.

  • Quora May 11, 2019 (8:31 am)

    I don’t work in criminal law, but everyone reading this needs to understand (and I second what wscommuter said), that obtaining an NGI verdict is extremely rare. I hope whatever happens she’s off the streets for a long time (this incident happened two blocks from my place).

  • MJ May 11, 2019 (10:31 am)

    This incident occurred a few blocks from my place and is frightening.  It is to totally unjust to the victim what has happened and she needs to be made whole again, preferably by making the perpetrator pay all costs.  

    • Katrina May 11, 2019 (2:16 pm)

      As commented above the perpetrator is mentally ill and possibly homeless. Trying to get any money from her would be futile 

  • Thomas Wood May 13, 2019 (4:21 am)

    The insanity is that these type of incidents happen way to often.We have people like this wonder are streets every day. The governor and the legislature have failed us.Meanwhile Mayor  Durken  and the Council pretend it doesn’t exist.

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