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Waco parolee who claimed ‘out-of-body experience’ when he murdered mother sentenced

Lonnie Paul Bishop, 34, pleaded guilty Thursday to murder in the May 31 death of his...
Lonnie Paul Bishop, 34, pleaded guilty Thursday to murder in the May 31 death of his 57-year-old mother, Yun Neang Biship, who police found badly beaten at the residence she shared with her son in the 700 block of North 11th Street in Waco.(KWTX)
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 4:03 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A parolee with a history of mental disorders who said he was having an “out-of-body experience” when he bludgeoned his mother to death with a hammer was sentenced to 50 years in prison Thursday.

Lonnie Paul Bishop, 34, pleaded guilty Thursday to murder in the May 31 death of his 57-year-old mother, Yun Neang Biship, who police found badly beaten at the residence she shared with her son in the 700 block of North 11th Street in Waco.

Waco police found a shirtless and bloody Bishop holding a phone in one hand and a bloody hatchet in the other when they arrived. Bishop confessed that day to killing his mother, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Bishop’s attorney, Jonathan Sibley, said Bishop, who referred to 19th State District Judge Thomas West as “your highness” at times during the hearing, struggled with mental health issues for a number of years.

“I wish there had been intervention earlier so he could have gotten what he needed to keep him to the point where we didn’t end up here today,” Sibley said. “I think that ultimately led to why he is here. It is a sad situation for him and obviously for all of his family. They lost their mother, but they are also losing him, too, and even though he has struggled with mental health issues, he is still part of the family. It is just a sad situation all the way around.”

Bishop, who has a prior felony conviction for aggravated assault, must be given credit for serving at least 25 years in prison before he can seek parole.

A neighbor reported she was on the phone with Mrs. Bishop during the attack. Mrs. Bishop asked her to call for help.

“The friend then heard the phone taken away from the victim and over an open line she heard multiple loud thumps over the phone,” the affidavit said.

Bishop told police he killed his mother with a hammer, police said. The affidavit says police found one bloody hammer and one bloody hatchet.

At Sibley’s request, Judge West appointed Waco psychologist Lee Carter to evaluate Bishop to determine if he was sane at the time of the offense and if he is competent to stand trial. In a nine-page report filed with the court, Carter determined Bishop sane and competent and diagnosed him in a three-hour evaluation with antisocial personality disorder, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from a traumatic childhood at the hands of alcoholic, abusive parents.

Bishop served three years of a six-year prison term for hitting the mother of his son and daughter in the head with a gun in 2017. He admitted to Carter that he is “disconnected from my emotions” and sometimes feels like he is in a haze. He said he doesn’t remember much about what he said to his mother before he killed her, but the neighbor who was on the phone with Mrs. Bishop heard him say, “I’ve got a plan for you,” according to Carter’s report.

“It was like an out-of-body experience,” Bishop told Carter. “That day it happened, I couldn’t even say I was acting like myself.”

Carter determined that Bishop has a fair understanding about how trials work and the roles of the judge, prosecutors and his attorney. Carter asked about his desire to testify if the case went to trial.

“I mean, there’s a part of me that wants people to know the reason I did it, that I’m not a heartless monster that didn’t like her or care about her. People look at it different than the way it actually happened. I kind of what people to know why it happened,” according to quotes attributed to Bishop in Carter’s reported.

Bishop said he thinks his mother “genuinely loved” him and his brothers but said he thinks she wanted them to be “miserable.”

“I mean if you asked me to give you a definition of an evil person … her emotions were evil.” Bishop told Carter.

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