A 54-year-old Davenport man who killed his mother in 2021 has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Court records say Andrew Rupp Sr. killed his mother, Dianne Rupp, 77, in her Davenport bedroom sometime after 9 p.m. on the evening of Feb. 15, 2021.
Judge Jeffrey Bert on Thursday signed a 38-page order that says Rupp has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Dianne Rupp operated PR Masonry from the 2600 block of West Central Park Ave., Davenport. She also was the proprietor of Mama Bahama’s, one of the longest-running stores inside of NorthPark Mall, Davenport.
The property on West Central Park Avenue contained an office building as well as residential dwelling units and was known as “the compound,” court records say.
According to court records, Dianne Rupp lived in a second-floor apartment there. He preferred vehicle was her red Ford Edge. Witnesses verified that Dianne Rupp would not allow Andrew Rupp Sr. to drive that vehicle.
Andrew Rupp Sr. worked for PR Masonry as a foreman. He also did some bidding for the company. “In general, other employees did not consider Andrew to be a skilled mason, or a hard worker,” court records say.
One skilled mason employed by PR Masonry described Andrew Rupp Sr.’s masonry work as “sloppy” and “childish.” Another employee questioned Andrew Rupp Sr.’s work ethic and workmanship, court records say.
During a trial in August, witnesses said they knew the mother and son argued.
According to court records, one PR Masonry employee said Andrew Rupp Sr. would stop working to nap in his truck. Andrew Rupp Sr. told the employee he “knew there was a secret button in the truck which would turn the truck into a space shuttle.”
In February of 2021, Andrew Rupp Sr. did not have a stable residence. Dianne Rupp and another relative drove to a trailer in Donahue about two weeks before Dianne Rupp’s death and found Andrew Rupp Sr. in “an unsafe and unkempt condition.”
Andrew Rupp Sr., according to court records, has a lengthy history of psychotic illness and court commitments.
When Dianne Rupp did not answer her cell phone on the morning of Feb. 16, 2021, her employees began to worry about her, according to court records and court testimony.
Witnesses saw Andrew Rupp Sr. driving Dianne’s Ford Edge. “The fact that Andrew was driving Dianne’s red Ford Edge combined with Dianne’s failure to answer her cell phone triggered concerns with her employees,” court records say.
Shortly after 4:30 p.m., police were dispatched to the 2600 block of West Central Park, where the body of Dianne Rupp was found.
Officers’ body cam footage captured statements from Andrew Rupp Sr. that said she was “not human” and that the “lady is not my mom.” Andrew Rupp Sr. referred to a “metal computer in her brain” and “a bird in his stomach.” He also described being up in the air on a lift and the whole town falling.
At the Davenport police station on Feb. 16, 2021, around 5:20 p.m., Andrew Rupp Sr. was recorded in an interview room saying things like:
- “I’m going to get killed. They are up above us.”
- She has “a brain made of metal and computerized stuff.”
- “Half her brain is still working. She’s not flat-lined yet.”
- “Lady made her into a machine – she’s not really my mom.”
- “They are trying to destroy the whole town.”
Later, a physician documented 29 wounds to Dianne Rupp’s head and neck, and said the 28 wounds to her scalp were consistent with a Phillips head drill bit found in the cordless drill next to her body, court records say.
The judge writes there “is no doubt” Andrew Rupp Sr. suffers from a permanent mental illness – schizo-affective disorder. Andrew Rupp Sr.’s mental illness prevented him from forming the specific intent to kill, the judge says in the documents.
“Based upon the evidence in this case, the Court finds a reasonable doubt exists with regard to Andrew’s ability to form the specific intent required to act willfully, deliberately and with premeditation,” court documents say.
According to court documents: “At the scene and after, Andrew referred to her as having a computerized brain and that she was not human. The evidence supports the conclusion that Andrew’s intent was to use the drill to try to access Dianne’s brain to remove the computer. The Court finds his inability to understand he was doing harm to his mother as compelling evidence that he could not distinguish between right and wrong.”
“The Court finds Andrew was suffering from a diseased or deranged condition of his mind such that he was incapable of understanding the quality of his act at the time it was committed,” the judge wrote.
Andrew Rupp Sr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of second-degree murder and possession of controlled substance – first offense, according to court records.
The Scott County Sheriff will transport Andrew Rupp Sr. to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center at Oakdale for a complete psychiatric evaluation. The center will provide a report within 15 days of admission “stating whether defendant is mentally ill and dangerous to defendant’s self or others.”
Andrew Rupp Sr. has no appeal rights and is prohibited from owning a firearm, court documents say.
The August trial
In August, Andrew Rupp Sr., with his attorney, appeared during testimony at a bench trial. In a jury trial, the jury makes the decision whether to convict a defendant; in a bench trial, the judge makes the decision.
Various witnesses continued to take the stand to testify about what they knew about his behavior and his relationship with his mother, who argued frequently, witnesses said.