More psychological tests for mother who killed 3-year-old in exorcism

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A woman in Nantucket, Massachusetts, accused of killing her 3-year-old daughter last spring in an alleged exorcism attempt will undergo more psychological evaluation to determine her responsibility for the act.

The Cape Cod Times reports

Dora Tejada, 27, was ordered to Taunton State Hospital on Thursday to undergo more evaluation as to her criminal responsibility in the apparent suffocation death of her daughter in March 2011. […]

In a hearing last month, Barnstable Superior Court Judge Gary Nickerson found Tejada competent to stand trial. The ruling fulfilled one aspect of the two requirements needed for prosecutors to bring Tejada to trial: They must show she is mentally competent and criminally responsible for her actions.

For a defendant to be declared mentally competent, he or she must be of sound mind and not suffering from a debilitating mental illness or psychological condition. For a defendant to be deemed criminally responsible, he or she must be found to have been mentally competent at the time an alleged crime was committed.

Tejada is due in Nantucket Superior Court on May 8 for a pretrial hearing. A determination of criminal responsibility could be made at that hearing.

During hospital treatment after her arrest Tejada said she stuck a rose down her daughter’s throat because God told her to, according to a police officer stationed at the hospital who reported overhearing a conversation between Tejada and her translator.

She put the rose in her daughter’s throat because demons were inside the girl, according to the translation, the officer said. Pink roses and rose petals were found on the floor of the home’s living room, according to the police.

The woman’s name has been reported both as Dora Tejada and Dora Alicia Tejada Pleitez.

Police report on Dora Tejada’s arrest PDF file
Research resources on exorcism

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This post was last updated: Dec. 16, 2016