Attorney: Diehl-Armstrong's mental illness was far worse than prison

ERIE, Pa. -- One of Erie's most infamous criminals passed away last week.

Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong is most known for her involvement in the bizarre Pizza Bomber case in 2003, which brought national attention to Erie.

Many people labeled her a serial killer, but her attorney, Michelle Hawk Kelley, thinks differently.

Diehl-Armstrong was convicted of conspiracy to commit an armed bank robbery and two other charges related to the August 2003 death of pizza deliveryman Brian Wells.

Wells was killed when a bomb locked to his neck exploded.

This wasn't the first crime that Diehl-Armstrong was involved in.

She admitted to fatally shooting her boyfriend, James Roden, in August 2003 and stuffing his dead body in a freezer.

Kelley says Diehl-Armstrong was on a path to a bright future, but mental illness took over her mind. She spiraled out of control and she was never able to get a handle on it.

It's reported that Diehl-Armstrong was bipolar and suffered from paranoia and borderline schizophrenia.

This resulted in her hanging out with others who also had mental illnesses and self-medicated with drugs and alcohol, which ultimately let her commit these crimes.

Kelley says that the media and society overlooked her mental illness.
   
"I can just hope that death has released her from the prison that her mental illness put her in,” Kelley said. “Because that was a far worse prison than the one that we put her in."

Diehl-Armstrong passed away last Tuesday at age 68 at the Carswell Federal Medical Center in Forth Worth, Texas.


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