SHAWNEE — A 73-year-old Shawnee man has been found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2010 stabbing death of his wife.
Rexford Earl Hilburn and Linda Hilburn, 67, had been married for 50 years when Rexford Hilburn stabbed her to death on Dec. 14, 2010. The assault occurred at night while Linda Hilburn was getting ready for bed in the bathroom of their home.
Hilburn was charged in Pottawatomie County District Court with first-degree murder. His prosecution was delayed nearly two years while he underwent treatment in a state mental health hospital.
His case was never presented to a jury. On July 12, District Judge John Canavan ruled Hilburn was not guilty because he was insane when he stabbed his wife. He ordered Rex Hilburn to return to the state hospital for additional mental health treatment.
Police reported Rex Hilburn accused his wife of having an extramarital affair, cornered her in the bathroom and stabbed her as many as 20 times with a kitchen knife. Officers found him babbling alone in a dark corner of a room.
Linda Hilburn died from the injuries on Dec. 22, 2010, at a hospital in Oklahoma City.
Amy Wollard, 27, of Shawnee, told The Oklahoman the attack was completely out of character for her grandfather. In the months before the stabbing, Rex Hilburn started to have severe emotional issues, stutter and make up stories, she said.
Wollard said he had been examined by doctors, but none were able to determine the source of his problems.