SYDNEY — An Australian man who identifies as a woman who attempted to kill people with an axe at a 7-Eleven store last year while under the influence of drugs says that he heard voices telling him to “kill and maim” and to “start the rise of Hell on Earth.”
According to SBS News Australia, the 26-year-old who goes by the name Evie Amati stood on trial this past week, telling a jury that he drank vodka and took a pill believed to be ecstasy on Jan. 7, 2017 during a date with a woman and her roomate, and soon after began hearing “inaudible whispers” that turned into actual instructions.
He said that he was in a car with his date on the way to a bar, but thought that she and her friend were talking about his gender identity, so he got out and walked the rest of the way home. During the walk, the whispers began, and Amati tried to combat them by smoking marijuana on his balcony. The whispers became louder after the first joint, so he smoked another.
“They stopped being whispers. They started being actual words,” Amati testified, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “I started seeing some of the violent visions I’d seen previously of me running at police with the axe and being shot dead.”
He then played his favorite heavy metal song to try to get rid of the voices.
“Send an angel to pull me from the Hell below/This weight is far too much to own and this body doesn’t feel like home/Send an angel; I feel I’m dying all alone/So lift me up or let me go because this body doesn’t feel like home,” the lyrics state.
“I only really had one more memory … that voice that had been telling me to kill and maim, and inflict pain on people and start the rise of Hell on Earth,” Amati said.
He said that a “sinister smile” also came over his face, which he could not control.
“I recall everything going quiet and feeling that voice come inside,” Amati testified. “And I remember that smile, the smile that was not mine, a sinister smile that plastered my face that I couldn’t control and then I black[ed] out.”
He said that the next thing he knew, he woke up in the hospital. However, in the meantime, surveillance footage from 7-Eleven shows Amati talking to another customer and then striking him with an axe moments later, along with a woman who was exiting the building. Both survived, but one suffered massive trauma to his face, narrowly avoiding potential life-threatening injuries.
Amati was charged with two counts of causing wounding or grievous bodily harm with intent to murder, along with four other counts. He has pleaded not guilty and has expressed remorse. According to News.com.au, Amati’s attorney told the court that Amati was “out of [his] mind” when the incident occurred.
In his commentary on the Book of Luke, the late Anglican preacher J.C. Ryle once exhorted, “The heart of man can never be satisfied with the things of this world. It is always empty, and hungry, and thirsty, and dissatisfied until it comes to Christ. It is only those who hear Christ’s voice and follow Him and feed on Him by faith who are filled.”