(By Marissa Papanek)
- Kimberly Felder, the woman accused of attempted murder after an assault on her daughter that she allegedly called an exorcism, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in court Wednesday, June 20.
Last June, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office reported that 45-year-old Felder, from Ferndale, stripped her child naked and shoved handfuls of sand in the girl's eyes and mouth at a Centerville beach. Officials said Felder stated she was trying to remove demons from the 11-year-old girl. Felder reportedly continued the assault by viciously striking, biting and choking her daughter, according to officials.
During the attack, a Good Samaritan, John Marciel, was at the beach with his family and stepped in during the reported exorcism. The sheriff's office said Marciel likely saved the young girl's life.
"He put his life in danger to save someone else's," Sheriff William Honsal said.
Marciel received a medal of honor from the sheriff's office for that rescue. He now says he is at a loss for words in response to Wednesday's verdict. He said he prays for the young girl and wishes her all the best in her recovery. He said he hasn't seen her since the terrifying incident, but she is always in the back of his mind and heart.
Felder's case has now been referred to the California Department of State Hospitals system to decide where she will go from here. Court documents show the recommendation should come in by July 10.
Source: KRCR TV