published : 2023-08-22

Charges Dismissed for North Dakota Woman Implicated in Attempted Motorcyclist Killing

Court acquits Dazechnae Willis, cited as mentally ill during the fateful incident

"A portrait of a woman appearing distressed, indicating an unclear state of mental health. Shot in a subtle, domestic setting to reflect the controversy surrounding the case. (Taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)"

Charges have been unequivocally dismissed against Dazechnae Willis, a woman who had been accused of attempting to murder a motorcyclist near Bismarck, North Dakota in 2019.

These developments followed an intensive mental health evaluation carried out on Willis, determining that she was actively suffering from a severe mental health condition, bipolar disorder with psychosis, at the time of the incident.

This illness was reported to have interfered with her capacity to grasp the harmful nature of her actions, leading to the dismissal.

Prior to this decision, Willis had stood accused of serious felonies including intentional murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and reckless endangerment, charges that could have landed her in prison for many years.

The incident in question involves Willis driving an SUV with her two young children aboard, colliding with a motorcyclist identified as Kelsey Schaefer.

"A close-up of a motorcycle, focusing on the intricacies of its structure, symbolizing the victim of the incident. The backdrop includes an open road, hinting at the tragedy that took place. (Taken with a Nikon D850)"

Schaefer suffered multiple severe injuries, including a critical brain trauma after being thrown beneath the wheels of a truck, although Willis and her children escaped unscathed.

Evidence provided in the past year revealed that Willis's speed had climbed to an alarming 107 mph just before the collision happened, with no signs of braking.

Charges against Willis were not leveled until 2021 due to the complex intricacies of the investigation required to finalize her charges.

It was District Judge Bonnie Storbakken who made the call in the previous year for Willis to be evaluated psychologically.

Following the revealing insights from the mental health assessment, Julie Lawyer, the County State's Attorney, dropped the attempted murder charge against Willis, lacking the belief that the intent could be demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt.

"A judge's gavel in sharp focus, placed on a set of legal books, portraying the courtroom scenario, reflecting the dilemma and verdict of the case. (Taken with a Sony Alpha 7R IV)"

Following this, Willis had her plea changed to 'not guilty' based on insufficient criminal responsibility for the remaining lesser felonies, leading the presiding judge to acquit her of all charges.

She was subsequently committed to a mandated treatment facility with the court retaining jurisdiction for a period extending up to five years.

As it stands, the current status pertaining to Willis remains unknown.