PAULSBORO — A New Jersey woman accused of stabbing her mother to death in 2017 has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

El Jahan Gardner was charged with murder in the killing of 55-year-old Alesia Burns at the older woman's Paulsboro home. Burns was stabbed in the head, neck and chest.

In 2017, prosecutors had offered Gardner a plea deal for 30 years in prison with no early release.

The verdict was recently handed down by a judge after a bench trial that was held late last month

A psychologist testified that Gardner wasn't taking her medication and was having a psychotic episode at the time of the killing.

He testified that Gardner had schizoaffective disorder and cannabis abuse disorder, adding that Gardner told him voices had instructed her to kill her mother.

The 31-year-old Gardner has remained psychotic despite two years of treatment while in custody. She is being treated at a state psychiatric hospital.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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