The Tulsa mom who police say stabbed her daughter at least 50 times was in court Tuesday.
She pleaded not guilty, but her family believes she’s insane and her attorneys will likely try to go that route.
Taheerah Ahmad is sitting in the Tulsa County Jail facing charges of assault and battery with intent to kill, two counts of child neglect, and one count of arson.
Two of Ahmad’s aunts were surprised by what was found at the crime scene.
“She said, ‘I feel like stabbing every one of them,’ and we misread it,” said Ahmad’s aunt Barbara Alsharif.
They believe Ahmad was using scripture to justify sacrificing her daughters.
“This is her reason, right here, and if this isn’t brought to court, then she won’t be dealt with justly,” Alsharif said.
Ahmad’s aunts also believe that past abuse pushed her over the edge.
Alsharif says, “she was trying to live and cope with no outlets, no coping mechanisms."
“To go in, to be hitting her in the head with an axe and be chopping her, I know she has to be mentally insane,” declared Debrecka Fields Spriggs, Ahmad’s aunt.
Her aunts believe she will try to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, but it’s not easy to prove that someone isn’t competent to stand trial.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler explains the standard for competence to stand trial.
“Is this person able to appreciate the charges and can they assist their attorney?” he said. “If either one of those comes back ‘no,’ well, then all criminal proceedings are then suspended.”
Kunzweiler says he recently has seen an increase in cases involving the insanity plea.
“I’m not sure if that’s because of the prevalence of people in the community not getting treatment or maybe it’s just a defense tactic,” he said.
He just hopes people are able to get help so others don’t get hurt.
“We’re kind of all duty bound and the worst thing that you could ever want to do is be prosecuting someone who is mentally ill,” stated Kunzweiler.
Ahmad’s aunts hope her past can explain why she snapped.
“It’s all on paper,” said Alsharif. “It’s in her behaviors. It’s in her history.”
Her aunts say they have been trying to get in touch with Ahmad’s landlord to pay her rent and because some things are missing from the home.
They say, no matter what she did, they will continue to fight for her throughout the legal process.
If you would like to donate clothes, toys and other necessities to children, you can drop those off at the Children's Academy Center at 2829 South Sheridan. The 8 and 9 year olds need clothing size 14 and shoe size youth 5. The 11 year old needs adult large and extra large clothing.
Monetary donations can be taken to the FOP Credit Union at 10110 East 11th Street.