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Woman acquitted due to insanity after running over Chicago police officer with stolen squad car while naked

Woman who ran over Chicago police officer with stolen car acquitted on charges
Woman who ran over Chicago police officer with stolen car acquitted on charges 00:35

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A woman accused of attacking a Chicago police officer, stealing his squad car, and dragging him with it – all while she was naked – was acquitted of all charges on Wednesday, after a judge agreed with defense arguments of mental insanity.

Following a bench trial last month, Cook County Judge Tyria Walton found Whitley Temple not guilty of one count of attempted murder, and also found her not guilty by reason of insanity on four other charges, including two counts of aggravated battery to a police officer, vehicular hijacking, and possession of a stolen vehicle.

The verdict means Temple remains free, but must report to court for a meeting with mental health officials on a treatment plan.

During the bench trial, Temple's defense attorney told the judge his client was "in a psychotic state" at the time of the 2022 incident, and argued that this is a "textbook insanity case." Both sides presented their closing arguments on Wednesday before Walton announced her verdict.

Prosecutors have said, on June 13, 2022, Chicago Police Officer Edward Poppish found Temple naked in the street in West Garfield Park, before she stole his squad car, ran him over and dragged him with the SUV, and sped off down the Kennedy Expressway at 90 mph, before crashing into four cars at Harrison Street and Damen Avenue in the Illinois Medical District on the Near West Side.

Poppish, a 23-year veteran of the police force, suffered a concussion and required several stitches to the head.

Temple's attorney said she "was in a psychotic state" and had been concerning her family for days at the time of the incident. She had a "paranoid idea" that people were after her and trying to kill the women in her family, the attorney said.

She also thought she'd been sexually assaulted, her attorney said.

Temple was hired earlier this year by the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services as a lead accountant while awaiting trial, but sources said she was fired in March.

When asked if the city knew about the pending felony charges against her — and the fact that the victim was a Chicago Police Officer — a spokesperson said they could "not comment on personnel matters."

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