Murder Suspect in Meth-Fueled Beheading Gets New Competency Evaluation After Attacking Laywer in Court
Taylor Schabusiness' lawyer filed a motion with the court last month seeking a new competency evaluation and asking the judge to push back the start of her trial, which is set to begin later this month.
A Wisconsin woman accused of brutally murdering her lover will get a new competency evaluation after a psychologist experienced in treating sex offenders opined that she is not competent to stand trial.
Taylor Schabusiness, 25, is accused of murdering, decapitating, dismembering, and sexually assaulting Shad Thyrion during a meth-fueled rampage back in February 2022.
She then found herself back in the news again one year later when she unexpectedly attacked her defense attorney in the middle of a pre-trial hearing.
Her new lawyer filed a motion with the court last month seeking a new competency evaluation and asking the judge to push back the start of her trial, which is set to begin later this month.
Judge Thomas Walsh granted that competency evaluation but said that the trial would still commence as scheduled on July 24 during a hearing this week.
Schabusiness has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges of first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse and third-degree sexual assault.
Her lawyer Christopher Froelich argued that the previous evaluation completed in November 2022 "is no longer current" in his motion for a new competency evaluation, which was obtained by Inside Edition Digital
Froelich also wrote that he had "concerns that the defendant may have been suffering from a mental breakdown or other mental defect before and after the alleged incident on Feb. 23, 2022."
He also voiced "concerns about the defendant's ability to assist in her own defense at this time," and noted that he "questions whether this defendant has the mental capacity to understand the proceedings."
In support of these "concerns" and "questions," Froelich included an NGI evaluation from Dr. Diane Lytton, Ph.D. That evaluation is used to determine if an individual might be not guilty by reason of insanity.
The details of Dr. Lytton's evaluation have been filed under seal, but the court docket shows that she will testify to her findings during a court appearance on July 13.
The state will then put their expert on the stand the morning of July 21 according to court record, with jury selection set to begin that same afternoon.
Judge Walsh said that he believed the competency evaluation could be completed before the start date.
The trial, which is expected to last one week, will begin on July 24.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Brown County Circuit Court, Schabusiness allegedly admitted to killing Shad Thyrion during an interrogation.
She also allegedly told detectives that she sexually abused his corpse before dismembering his body with a bread knife.
“Schabusiness responded that the police were going to have fun trying to find all of the organs,” wrote Caleb Saunders, assistant district attorney for Brown County, in the complaint.
“Schabusiness stated all of the body parts should be in the basement. Schabusiness stated there should be a foot or a leg in the minivan. Detective Graf asked Schabusiness what she did with the head, and Schabusiness stated she had put the Victim’s head in a black bucket and put a blanket over it,” the complaint alleges. "Schabusiness stated the plan was for her to bring all of the body parts with her but she got lazy and only ended up putting the leg/foot in the van and she forgot the head."
Thyrion's mother first found her son's head when she went downstairs to check on him after Schabusiness allegedly left the home.
The defense has been trying for months to get a new competency evaluation, and at a pretrial hearing last month had Dr. James O'Donnell testify that Schabusiness' prolonged drug use impacted her ability to consent and fully understand her Miranda rights at the time of her arrest.
"She was acutely methamphetamine toxic, intoxicated and impaired at the time of the alleged crimes and during the period of her interrogation," said O'Donnell. "In terms of her ability to form consent and waive consent for Miranda and the meth and the marijuana — both impair the ability to deliberate, to consider consequences, to form memories and to recall memories."
That hearing was held to determine if Schabusiness' damning statements to police could be heard in court during her murder trial. Judge Walsh ultimately sided with prosecutors and said those statements would be admissible.
Many of those statements are included in the complaint.
“Schabusiness stated she then began to choke the Victim, and she described it as the Victim lying face down on the bed with her on top of him pulling on the end of the chain. The Victim coughed up blood and she was just waiting for him to die while she was watching his face. Schabusiness made the comment that she was ‘already this far’ so she just kept on, referring to choking the Victim,” the complaint states. “Schabusiness said in a lower tone of voice, ‘Ya I liked it,’ and Detective Graf believed her to be referring to when she was choking the Victim.”
She then allegedly went into further detail about Thyrion's death.
“Schabusiness stated she thought it took 3-5 minutes for the Victim to die. Detective Kempf clarified with Schabusiness that when the Victim began to cough up blood she just did keep on choking the Victim because she wanted to see what happens. Schabusiness made comments that she blacked out while choking the Victim but when she woke up that the Victim was already purple, so she kept on going,” authorities added. “Schabusiness stated she enjoyed choking him and made comments to detectives asking if they knew what it was like to love something so much that you kill it.”
Schabusiness, who is married with a young child, is being held on $2 million bond.
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