NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A 46-year-old woman will spend the rest of her life in prison for killing two women in West Norriton, who she believed were robots pushing buttons in her head.
Naseema Sami was found guilty but mentally ill of two counts of first-degree murder for killing 78-year-old Lila Frost and 68-year-old Lorraine Gigliello in a house on West Indian Lane, along the Schuylkill River, in March 2019.
Sami testified during the trial that she believed the women were “clones or bio-machines,” and she attacked them in self-defense.
“This is one of the most horrific crimes I've seen in my 24 years of being a prosecutor,” said prosecutor Tom McGoldrick. “It was a vicious killing of two wonderful ladies with wonderful families and completely innocent victims.”
The guilty but mentally ill verdict means Sami will spend the rest of her life in prison but will be given the option of mental health treatment.
McGoldrick said her family did try to get her help at some point, but she refused.
Sami’s lawyer, Carrie Allman, argued an insanity defense, but Montgomery County Judge William Carpenter ruled the level of mental illness did not reach the bar required by Pennsylvania law.
After the verdict, Allman said she respects the judge’s decision but argued that “mental illness doesn’t come in a single form or a single package.”
“The fact that Ms. Sami is educated and articulate and that her delusions only come in certain ways doesn’t make her any less mentally ill,” she said. “She will spend the rest of her life in prison because we live in a state that does not believe people are redeemable.”
“We feel that the verdict was appropriate,” countered prosecutor Meghan Carney. “It’s just a horrific, sad case. There’s no real winners in this case at all.”
Police found Sami hiding under a bed in the apartment with her 6-year-old son. She stayed in the home for three days after the murders.
Family members remembered Frost and Gigliello as loving and caring. They say it was Frost’s willingness to help Sami 20 years ago that resulted in Sami seeking her out, and eventually killing her.