Man charged in his mom's stabbing death found not guilty by reason of insanity

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte man accused of stabbing his mother to death two years ago will not spend any time behind bars.

Dionte Long stabbed his mother, Marcella Thrash, to death inside her home on Hubbard Point in April 2017.

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Channel 9's veteran crime reporter Mark Becker was in the courtroom Thursday when a judge found Long not guilty by reason of insanity.

(Long in court)

"I have no doubt in my own mind that Mr. Long is mentally ill and has been for a long time," Judge Robert Bell said.

Bell told family members that three state doctors reached the same conclusion about Long's mental state.

(Marcella Thrash)

Thrash's mother, Barbara Lightner, said her daughter tried to get Long help for years.

"She was a good person," she said. "It didn't have to be this way."

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Long left court not guilty, but he's not free.

He will be sent to a state mental hospital where doctors could someday decide he's no longer mentally ill.