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Wake judge orders woman involuntarily committed

The Associated Press

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RALEIGH — A woman charged with suffocating her 2-year-old son will be involuntarily committed because a Wake County judge has ruled she's still mentally ill and a danger to herself and others.

WRAL-TV reported that Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens dismissed the murder charge against 30-year-old Michelle Harpster. He ruled Thursday that Harpster was schizophrenic and delusional when her son was killed and believed he was better off dead.

Joshua Callahan was killed Sept. 26, 2012, at a Raleigh hotel. Mental health experts found that, at the time of the crime, Harpster believed that "rich white people" were conspiring to sell her son or use him as a sex slave.

Harpster told authorities she put her hands over her sleeping son's mouth and nose while she prayed and sang to him.

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