A 42-year-old woman charged in the 2011 stabbing death of her boyfriend will remain in a state psychiatric hospital after a Franklin County judge ruled yesterday that she still is incompetent to stand trial.
Visiting Common Pleas Judge Alan Travis found that Alesia Sheppard is unrestorable because her competency wasn’t restored within the one-year period required by state law.
Travis committed her indefinitely to Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare in Columbus to continue treatment. The hospital will provide the court with periodic updates on her condition. Any changes in her confinement level must be approved by the court.
The prosecution and defense agreed that “clear and convincing evidence” shows that she committed murder and tampered with evidence in the case. Police said she called 911 to report the stabbing of Larry Edwards, 62, at their home at 2315 Argyle Rd. on the North Side on Oct. 3, 2011, and eventually confessed to the crime.
Edwards died in Grant Medical Center less than an hour after the stabbing.
Judge John F. Bender ruled in February 2012 that Sheppard was incompetent to stand trial after a Netcare psychologist found that she was too mentally ill to understand the charges against her or assist in her defense. She has been a patient in the Hilltop hospital ever since.
The hospital completed an evaluation of Sheppard that led to yesterday’s ruling. Both sides accepted the report’s recommendation that she be found incompetent and unrestorable.
The ruling is not the same as being found not guilty by reason of insanity.
In the original evaluation of Sheppard, a psychologist said her symptoms included “auditory hallucinations, delusional beliefs, paranoia and erratic and impulsive behaviors.”
By John Futty - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
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