4 Mar 2011

Marshalls murder-accused seeks permission for insanity defense

6:41 pm on 4 March 2011

In the Marshall Islands, a man accused of killing his wife last year is seeking the court's permission to use an insanity defense.

Morton Makroro, 54, is accused of murdering his wife by stabbing her multiple times during a domestic altercation in Majuro.

She had been a teacher at the College of the Marshall Islands and had just obtained her master's degree from the University of Guam.

A scheduled March 22 trial is expected to be delayed while lawyers argue the motion filed in the case.

Mr Makroro has been held in jail since last August awaiting trial.

The grisly murder last August stunned the Marshall Islands, where murder remains a rare occurrence though spouse abuse is rampant.

It also highlighted the high incidence of spouse abuse in the Marshalls which led to a march by several hundred people demanding the government step up action to prevent spouse abuse.