"It's really not hard to make up stuff," grinned David Weightman, 28, talking about how he had convinced psychiatrists he was hearing voices to receive a lighter sentence for the murder of his adoptive parents in their Sydney. Australia home. Weightman received 25 years on the grounds of "diminished responsibility" rather than the life sentence he would have otherwise received. Appearing in the Supreme Court jury murder trial of his alleged accomplice, Terry Donai, Weightman reported that he and that he and Donai had discussed the fact that as he was an only child and would inherit from his parents' deaths. The murder plan involved Weightman drugging his parents and that Donai would then smother them.
On the night of January 8, 2000, Weightman put several sleeping tablets into his parents' tea and was outside their house when he heard his mother scream from her bedroom. Donai had emerged from the house "stinking like death", sweating and breathing heavily. He said Donai told him: "That really took a lot out of me. I'll need a hand with your dad."Weightman then held his father down as Donai smothered him with a pillow. He and Donai then pushed a car with the bodies inside over a nearby embankment to make their deaths appear accidental.
After the murders, Weightman refused to pay Donai the $18,000 he had promised him. "I was angry and mad and I didn't feel like he deserved to be paid," Weightman told the jury. He confessed to his part in the murders in 2004 after years of badgering by his aunt and uncle. While in jail waiting to be sentenced, he was told by another inmate that if he could convince psychiatrists he was insane then he could go to a psychiatric hospital rather than jail.
Weightman said he told "numerous lies" to psychiatrists while being assessed, including hearing voices, and seeing bubbles and "little gremlins". In 2005, when Justice Peter Hidden sentenced Weightman to 25 years in jail, with a minimum of 19 years, he said he lowered the sentence from life because of Weightman's confession and the help he gave police. Justice Hidden also stated that he believed Weightman suffered from schizophrenia at the time of the murders and was sorry for having killed his parents.
Donai has pleaded not guilty. He was arrested last year.