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6/4/2014 6:00:00 AM
Yucca murder: Sad saga ends
Drake refuses to plead 'guilty except insane'
Roger Drake
Roger Drake
Carol Drake
Carol Drake

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - A Yucca man with serious lifelong mental health issues pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday in the February 2013 beating and stabbing death of his mother.

Roger Drake, 47, was subjected to very careful questioning from Mohave County Superior Court Judge Derek Carlisle, who noted doctors who examined Drake following the killing found he was insane at the time of the incident, but has since been restored to competency.

Drake, as he has always been in court, was exceedingly polite. He told Carlisle the medications he takes in the Mohave County jail make him "calm and relaxed," and that he has no problems thinking clearly.

Drake was either low on his medicine or completely out of it when he severely beat and repeatedly stabbed Carol Drake, 66, before burying her in a shallow grave in the yard of the home they shared.

In interviews with Mohave County Sheriff's detectives, Drake admitted to killing his mother, saying the "dream police" told him to do so.

As part of the plea agreement, Drake agreed to a 21-year term when Carlisle sentences him on June 30. The terms for a second-degree murder conviction range from 10 years to 25 years.

"I certainly do. I wish I could plead guilty today and get sentenced," said Drake when Carlisle asked him if was certain he wanted to plead guilty.

Carlisle seemed to take great pains to explain to Drake that he had the option of pleading guilty except insane, which would have put Drake in the care of the Psychiatric Security Review Board and the state hospital in Phoenix.

Drake rejected that option, even though Mohave County Chief Deputy Attorney Jace Zack advised a guilty but insane plea could lead to a conditional release if doctors determined he no longer poses a threat.

"I want to make sure he's clear on his options," said Zack.

"My client has made it clear doesn't want to go to the state hospital, but to prison," said his attorney, Ron Gileo.

Ironically, Gileo said Carol Drake moved with her son to remote Yucca because of his "lifelong issues with mental health."

Drake, when asked to acknowledge the death of his mother caused significant harm to other relatives, quietly said, "Yes. Of course."

In exchange for the plea, the state will drop first-degree murder and abandonment or concealment of a body charges.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Article comment by: justanobody sr

conditional release? are you serious?
this guy IS a threat to any community he is in,
he DOES need to be institutionalized, and under Dr care 24-7 for the rest of his life!
if any judge lets him back into society , my hopes would be that he visits the judge and his family.
letting him back into the community is more insane than he is!

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

OK, in the first place, if your kid(s) are living with you past 21 and not earning a degree, you have a problem people.

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