COBB COUNTY, Ga - The parents of a woman found guilty of running over two Cobb County deputies, spoke for the first time Friday.
They told Channel 2’s Diana Davis that despite their immense effort, their daughter never got the psychiatric help she needed.
In tears, Candida Summelin’s mother, Rachel, told Davis her daughter is mentally ill and does not belong behind bars.
“I don't want my daughter to go to prison Ms. Davis,” Rachel said.
Earlier this week a Cobb County jury found 34-year-old Candida Summerlin guilty, but mentally ill of running over two Cobb County deputies.
Both deputies survived, but were seriously hurt and needed multiple surgeries.
Summerlin's parents say their daughter drove to the jail parking lot that day to get help because she was having a psychotic episode.
“She was hearing voices and she went to the jail. She felt that if she was there at the jail no one could harm her,” says Rachel Summerlin.
As the deputies approached Summerlin for what they saw as strange behavior, Candida Summerlin repeatedly ran them over.
Her mother says, “Her mind was messed up Ms. Davis. We don't know what she was thinking.”
Her parents claim their daughter's mental health problems date back to 2005 saying it was so bad, her parents got a court order and committed her to a mental institution.
Rachel Summelrin said her daughter believed they were trying to have her killed.
“She has no control over this disease, it's not right. They wanna prosecute her for doing something when she was in that state of mind and it's just not right," Rachel Summerlin said.
Candida Summerlin was released after just eight days in the mental health center. Her parents claim doctors never told them Candida was diagnosed as both psychotic and bipolar, citing patient privacy.
Her father Kenneth Summerlin told Davis his daughter was never given medication.
“She could have been getting treatment all this time and been fine cause she really hasn't been normal since then,” he said.
Though they ache for their daughter, the Summerlins told Davis they have nothing, but sympathy for the deputies their daughter hurt.
“Our heart goes out to them because they were victims just like my daughter was,” Rachel Summerlin said.
Candida Summerlin will be sentenced Nov. 5. Her mom says she hopes for treatment not prison.
“She will never get help if they throw her in prison she will never get help,” her mother said.