VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia man who admitted to decapitating his five-year-old son in 2009 was granted release Monday.
Joseph Hagerman III pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to killing his son Joshua. During a jailhouse interview with WAVY, he claimed he took his son’s life to save him from evil.
Since August 2009, Hagerman has been getting treatment in various hospitals. He’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia. When not at the hospital, he has visited his parents’ Virginia Beach home and has also stayed at an adult foster home. He has been reviewed every year to see if any progress has been made in his condition.
Several doctors testified in court Monday that they believe Hagerman won’t be a threat to the community if he is released. Doctors say in the last eight years, he has taken his medicine and has not had any episodes.
Prosecutors argued that if Hagerman is released, it will be up to him to continue taking his prescribed medicine. They also questioned whether he would have enough supervision to make sure he doesn’t put anyone in danger.