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September 2014


Oconomowoc mom found insane in child's death

Dana M. Hooper, accused of stabbing her infant daughter to death last September, was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect at a court hearing Feb. 4.

Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge William J. Domina ordered the Oconomowoc woman to remain in institutional care for life and denied conditional release because of the potential threat Hooper could pose to herself or others.

Two court-appointed psychiatrists determined that Hooper suffered from a psychotic disorder. Hooper said that in the weeks leading up to the murder of her child, she was suffering from mood swings, hallucinations and frequent periods of sleeplessness, made worse by an antidepressant she was prescribed. She told medical personnel before her arrest that she suffered from postpartum depression.

"Somehow, this act was motivated by 'God' or 'the devil' or a person with strength that could not be ignored," Domina said.

The judge said Hooper had made clear psychological progress since the incident and was deemed competent, meaning that she will be allowed to make decisions regarding her psychiatric care.

However, that decision can be reconsidered by the court in the future.

Hooper was visibly relieved by the judge's sentence, but broke down in tears at the end of the hearing.

"I hope you find balance and understanding, so that you can help others who end up on this path," Domina said in closing. "Because, in your case, that did not happen."

According to the criminal complaint:

On Sept. 15, Hooper told medical personnel at Rogers Memorial Hospital that she was suicidal and that she had killed her baby.

"I'm going to tell you the truth," she allegedly told a nurse. "I thought there was spiritual warfare at our house. Voices in my head, God's voice, told me to kill my baby because it was satanic."

Police arriving at Hooper's residence on Lisbon Road in Oconomowoc met with Kevin Hooper, Dana Hooper's husband, who has been charged with failing to report the death of a child. He is scheduled to be in court next on March 4.

He told police that he had wrapped the baby in a blanket and placed her in a laundry basket, according to the complaint.

Asked why he waited several hours before contacting police, Kevin Hooper allegedly told police he was afraid and was waiting for Dana's father to arrive.

He also told police he put the child in the plastic laundry basket because he didn't want her bleeding all over the carpet.

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