Slidell woman found guilty of killing aunt

Insanity defense fails after being accused of stabbing aunt to death

Thomas Perumean
November 01, 2019 - 7:03 am



Kenya Despensa has been found guilty of brutally stabbing her elderly aunt 56 times, July 28th.  The jury found Despensa placed the body of her aunt in her bed, then cleaned the scene and stole the aunt's car.  

Despensa attempted an insanity defense by driving in to New Orleans and committing herself for mental evaluation at University Medical Center.  

Despenza’s legal team claimed that she was not guilty by reason of insanity. However evidence showing that Despenza had checked herself into the hospital for mental evaluations on multiple occasions to get out of trouble.  Like she did in 2016 after stabbing her stepfather in the head and fleeing.  

Psychiatrists at UMC determined she was "malingering,"-- pretending to be mentally ill.  "She is a faker," St. Tammany Parish Assistant District Attoreny Tiffany Dover said in her closing statement.  "There is no other way to describe it. She’s trying to con the twelve of you."

After stabbing her aunt, Despenza wrapped the body in a blanket, took off her own bloody clothes, showered, and tried to clean blood from the walls and floors of her own bathroom and the victim’s bedroom.  Cleaning supplies were found on the countertop of Despenza’s bathroom. 

Despenza faces mandatory life in prison when she is sentenced November 6.

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