Fast facts of the #JacobCayerMurderTrial
▪️ In August 2020, a jury found Jacob Cayer guilty in two counts of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide in the deaths of Sabrina and Sunny, one count of 1st Degree Attempted Homicide, Burglary, and two counts of Bail Jumping
▪️ He was previously arrested and jailed on two different Domestic Violence charges
▪️ 10 of the 12 jurors also found that, while guilty, he could not be held accountable for his crimes. Only 10 votes out of 12 were needed to decide that Cayer was Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Disease or Defect, commonly known as the Not Guilty by Insanity plea, or NGI.
▪️ There are a few criteria for meeting the requirements of an NGI.
1) Did the perpetrator have a mental disease/defect?
2) Did this mental disease/defect prevent them from conforming their action to the standards of the law?
2a) Did they know right from wrong?
2b) Could they stop themselves once they began?
▪ ️Only two mental health professionals evaluated him for NGI. The evaluator hired by the State found Cayer to be NGI. The evaluator hired by the defense, however, found him to be fully cognizant of the wrongfulness of his actions, and NOT NGI.
Unfortunately, the jury did not hear from the dissenting doctor, as the defense was not legally required to put that witness on the stand. The State, however, was required to put theirs.
▪️There is no minimum sentence in an NGI decision. The law cannot mandate that a perpetrator spend their entire life secured behind the locked doors of a mental institution.
For reference to a previous case, see
▪️Cayer will remain in custody for the rest of his life, but what that custody looks like varies. It may mean behind the doors of the psych ward. It may also mean living in a residential home. It may mean living on his own in a sort of “probationary relationship” with the Department of Human Services where he will be required to regularly check in. But he will be free to walk the streets, to hold a job, to be your neighbor or co-worker.
▪️He is able to petition every 6 months for release.
▪️During the deposition, Judge Hock ruled that he could not apply for conditional release. This did NOT mean that he cannot petition for release at all; it meant that at the moment of the ruling, he would be sent directly to the mental health institutional, rather than being immediately set free on the streets, in the care of a residential home, etc.
▪️Had the jury decided that he was NOT NGI, he most certainly would have been sentenced to the maximum penalty for double homicide and attempted homicide charges:
Life in prison with no possibility for parole.
▪️Instead, Cayer was given an option for a second chance at life that Sunny and Sabrina Teague will never have. Sunny and Sabrina’s family and loved ones will spend every 6 months for the rest of their lives fearing, and fighting against, Cayer’s release onto the streets.