An Australian man who identifies as a transgender woman says either drugs or demons caused her to use an ax to attack people at a 7-Eleven store last year.
The suspect, Evie Amati, 26, said she smoked two marijuana joints and then began hearing voices, PJ Media reported.
One of the voices whispered an order to "kill, maim and inflict pain on people and start the rise of hell on earth," a court has heard.
How did this unfold?
On Jan. 7, 2017, Amati went to a nearby 7-Eleven in Enmore, a suburb of Sydney. Amati spoke briefly to the first victim, Ben Rimmer, who went in the store to buy a pie on his way home, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. She then allegedly swung the ax into Rimmer’s face, fracturing his nasal bone, eye socket and cheekbone. The victim was hit with such force that he fell to the ground, reports said.
Next, Amati allegedly attacked Sharon Hacker, who was leaving the store after buying milk. He allegedly swung the ax into the back of her head and fractured the base of her skull. According to reports, she still reportedly lives with intense pain from the attack.
Once outside, Amati allegedly walked up to a pedestrian and swung the ax twice at him. The victim managed to fend off the attack by holding his backpack in front of him, according to reports.
Amati has pleaded not guilty to six charges, including two counts of wounding with intent to murder.
What led to this?
About an hour before the attack, Amati allegedly wrote a social media post that said: "Most people deserve to die...one day I'm going to kill a lot of people."
Her defense was partly that her body committed the attacks but she was not really in control.
It began unfolding after Amati left a "failed first date" and came home. After smoking one joint, she began hearing voices. She smoked a second one and the voices became louder, reports state.
"They stopped being whispers. They started being actual words," Amati said. "I started seeing some of the violent visions I'd seen previously of me running at police with the ax and being shot dead."
She also recalled “everything going quiet and feeling that voice come inside me.”
Amati maintains that her face began to smile, but she was not in control of it.
"I remember that smile, the smile that was not mine," she said. "A sinister smile that plastered my face that I couldn't control. And I black out."
Police found Amati unconscious near the 7-Eleven. She was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital and was shackled to a bed by police who were standing guard.
A custodial officer reportedly made a “flippant comment” about an ax after seeing a news report about the attack.
Amati said she then realized what happened.
"To think I'd put other people's lives in danger made me feel so ashamed of myself,” Amati said. ”They were innocent. They did nothing to deserve what happened. If I could take every one of those blows and put them on myself instead of someone else I would have done it a thousand times over."
She wanted to write an apology to the victims, but her lawyer said it would prejudice the legal proceedings.
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