Prosecutors want new psychiatric exam for 97-year-old murder suspect

Published On: May 08 2013 04:05:36 PM EDT   Updated On: May 08 2013 04:16:04 PM EDT

Amanda Stevenson appears in court.


The St. Johns County State Attorney’s Office has filed a petition with Judge Michael Traynor, asking that 97-year-old Amanda Stevenson undergo yet another psychiatric evaluation -- this time to determine if she should be involuntarily committed to a state psychiatric facility.

Stevenson has been in the St. Johns County jail since September 2011 after she was charged with murder in the shooting death of her nephew, 53-year-old John Rice.  She has been ruled not competent to stand trial.

Last month, the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities filed a 143-page report outlining placement and care options for Stevenson. The agency had been ordered to come up with placement options for Stevenson and submit it to him for review.

The agency said it doesn't have the capabilities to deal with her dementia and other medical issues. The agency said its mission is to treat those with mental retardation or autism, and none of the five psychologists who previously examined Stevenson found she has those illnesses.

Because of her age and mental state, the court determined she's not suitable to remain in the jail.

If the new psychiatric review finds she should be committed under the state’s Baker Act, she would be placed in the care of the Department of Children and Families.


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