A woman who walked into a church service in Clairemont on Easter Sunday two years ago brandishing an unloaded gun while holding her young son pleaded guilty Friday.
Anna Conkey, however, will be placed in a state hospital for treatment, because a judge declared her insane in a bench trial following her guilty pleas.
Prosecutors said Conkey, a Bonita resident, called 911 and emailed her former employer, NBC San Diego, and told them a woman with a gun was going to “blow up the foundation of the church.”
Conkey later walked onto the stage in the auditorium of Mt. Everest Academy – leased by the non-denominational Church Tsidkenu – while holding a pistol in her right hand and her young son cradled in her left arm.
The bomb threat turned out to be unfounded.
According to preliminary hearing testimony, Conkey told the congregants in attendance that she was a martyr, saying, “You are all going to die” and urged them to listen to her message regarding her religious beliefs.
Before police arrived, churchgoers disarmed her and pulled her baby away. After bystanders tried to hand the pistol to the authorities, Conkey lunged forward, grabbed the gun and ran. Officers tackled her, according to witnesses.
A video of the service that was played during Conkey’s preliminary hearing showed Pastor Benjamin Wisan turn to see Conkey behind him. He asked, “Is that a gun?”
Wisan testified that he was unsure whether it was a gun or a stun gun but told the crowd that it was a stun gun to calm them down. He then instructed them to leave the building and pray.
Several of the congregants testified that Conkey waved the gun around without leveling it at any specific person. Others alleged she pointed it at her baby.
However, all of the witnesses said they did not believe she had any intention of actually shooting anyone.
Conkey, 33, pleaded guilty to nine felony and misdemeanor charges including child endangerment, making criminal threats and possession of a firearm in a school zone.
According to the NBCSanDiego, the court initially declared her not competent to stand trial last summer. They also reported that her baby and another child are being cared for by other family.