Accused eye-gouger won't face death penalty

Accused eye-gouger won't face death penalty

ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. - State prosecutors will not seek the death penalty for a woman accused of gouging her mother's eyes and killing her in Royal Palm Beach, according to a recently filed court document.

Investigators say Camille Balla stabbed and removed her mother's eyes, placing them on a box next to her body. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputies report finding Balla covered in blood in front of her mother's Royal Palm Beach home on 100 block of Country Club Way around 1:40 a.m on March 16.

"I'm a murderer, I'm a murderer!" Balla said to fire rescue officials, an arrest report states.

Balla is charged with first-degree murder for the death of her mother, Francisca Monteiro-Balla.

Joseph Walsh, Balla's court-appointed lawyer, is asking a Palm Beach County judge to have experts evaluate Balla's competency to stand trial.

"Balla has a history of mental illness," Walsh wrote in court documents.

Detectives reported finding in the garage handwritten notes with religious-themed messages about clearing the soul. Balla told Palm Beach County Fire Rescue she smoked marijuana she thought might be laced with flakka or PCP.

Balla is being held in the medical health unit of the Palm Beach County Jail without bond. A future court date has not been set yet.

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