Argument Over Presidential Politics Lands Woman in Prison for Murder

In a Feb. 5, 2015 photo, defendant Tewana Sullivan sobs towards the end of her preliminary examination at 16th District Court in Livonia, Mich. Sullivan, who authorities say killed a friend with a slow cooker during a political dispute in suburban Detroit while very drunk, faces sentencing Monday, June 15, 2015, in Detroit. (Robin Buckson/The Detroit News via AP)
Tewana Sullivan sobs in court at preliminary hearing

*Bipolar disorder is the claim one woman is making for the brutal murder of a friend, with whom she was having a heated argument over presidential politics.

But it wasn’t enough to save her from standing trial, and subsequently getting sentenced to prison for 23 years.

Detroit resident Tewana Sullivan had a blood-alcohol level of 0.41 — five times the level for drunk driving in Michigan, when she killed her friend during an argument over the 2016 race for president, according to defense attorney, John McWilliams.

A judge followed the recommended sentence in a plea deal between prosecutors and Sullivan, who has a history of bipolar disorder but was declared competent to go to trial.

A drunken Sullivan, 51, beat Cheryl Livy, 66, with a slow cooker at the victim’s Livonia apartment in October.

“I didn’t take my medication like I was supposed to, so I did mess up,” Sullivan told Wayne County Judge Michael Hathaway. “Without me taking my medication, that was the worst thing I could ever have done.”

Atty. McWilliams attempted to reiterate the basis of the argument.

“One was for one major political party and the other was for the other major political party,” he said.

She said she fears she’s “not going to make it” in prison and suggested the plea deal was a mistake.

“It’s a little late for that now,” the judge said.

McWilliams agreed, saying her second thoughts were “not well-placed.”

“The likelihood of conviction of first-degree murder was great. And the state wouldn’t have to give her mental health care,” he told The Associated Press.


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