Chris Harris
January 05, 2018 03:22 PM

 

An Ohio man has been found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2016 beating death of his elderly mother after saying he killed her because Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak told him to.

Attorney Brian Pierce, who represented the killer, 48-year-old Derrick Williams of Akron, tells PEOPLE his client will likely be sent to a secure psychiatric facility after his commitment hearing later this month.

Williams is being evaluated by mental health professionals “who will recommend an appropriate level of commitment.”

According to Pierce, Williams was diagnosed as having schizoaffective disorder. In addition, he suffers from depression and had delusions and paranoid thoughts.

“He is mentally ill,” Pierce says. “We’re in Akron, Ohio, and according to my client, one of the clues on the show was Akron.”

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Williams believed the reference to his hometown was some sort of sign “Pat Sajak was going to talk to him,” Pierce tells PEOPLE.

Williams told investigators the ageless, affable game show host told him to “Do it,” which Pierce says his client interpreted as a command to kill.

“He is delusional,” Pierce says.

Pierce says Williams was off his medication at the time of the killing.

Williams beat his mother to death in December 2016 with a lead pipe.

Summit County Sheriff's Office

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Williams’ sister found the body and called 911, telling police it was likely that her brother was responsible.

The killing followed an argument between the mother and son.

Williams delivered most of the fatal blows to his mother’s head.

Pierce tells PEOPLE that Williams claimed he saw the head of a neighbor’s dog on his mother’s body as he was striking her with the pipe.

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