Pretrial hearing for Schlosser postponed

McKINNEY – A pretrial hearing in the Dena Schlosser capital murder case set for Wednesday was postponed until next week.

The hearing, which was delayed because of a trial in the same court, is likely to determine whether Ms. Schlosser’s second trial will be heard by a judge or jury. The hearing is now scheduled for March 23, said Leigh Hornsby, a Collin County spokeswoman.

Collin County District Attorney John Roach said he wants state District Judge Chris Oldner to decide the verdict in the second trial instead of a jury. But whether a jury hears the case is up to Ms. Schlosser, 37. One of her attorneys, David Haynes, said the defense hopes to announce its decision at the hearing.

Ms. Schlosser’s first trial ended in a hung jury last month when jurors deadlocked with 10 of 12 favoring a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. They deliberated for more than 40 hours over four days.

The state and defense do not disagree about whether Ms. Schlosser killed her 10-month-old daughter, Maggie Schlosser – only about her state of mind at the time. Ms. Schlosser killed her daughter by severing her arms at the shoulders with a kitchen knife.

Doctors diagnosed postpartum depression and psychosis in Ms. Schlosser after Maggie was born. Testimony showed that she had religious-based hallucinations and delusions and that she thought God wanted her to kill Maggie.

Three psychiatrists testified for the defense at the trial that Ms. Schlosser was insane when she killed her daughter. The state did not call any psychiatrists to testify.

The state is seeking to send Ms. Schlosser to prison for life. The defense wants her to go to a mental institution until the judge and doctors say she should be released.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Dallas Morning News, USA
Mar. 16, 2006
Jennifer Emily

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday March 16, 2006.
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