Hospital to release Virginia Beach woman cleared in attempted murder of kids

(Southside Daily file)
(Southside Daily file)

VIRGINIA BEACH — A local woman charged with attempting to kill her two children by putting prescription drugs in their ice cream in 2013 will soon be released from a state psychiatric hospital.

Lorita Aiken was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Circuit Judge Les Lilley heard from three psychologists and a psychiatrist who testified Wednesday that they believe Aiken no longer poses a danger to herself or others.

The judge said Aiken can be released from Eastern State Hospital to live in a transitional group home.

She will be required to continue receiving therapy and won’t be allowed to contact her children unless a juvenile court judge approves it. The children live in North Carolina with their father.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.