CINCINNATI (AP) — A woman accused of decapitating her 3-month-old daughter was found incompetent to stand trial Tuesday and will be transferred to a treatment facility.
A Hamilton County judge ordered that Deasia Watkins be transferred to Summit Behavioral Healthcare in Cincinnati for treatment and further evaluation. She will be treated at the psychiatric hospital with the aim of restoring competency so she can stand trial on an aggravated murder charge in the death of 3-month-old Jayniah Watkins last month.
Watkins’ attorneys earlier entered a not-guilty plea for her and have since filed a written plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Police responding to a 911 call found Watkins’ daughter decapitated on the kitchen counter in the home of an aunt who was temporarily caring for her. Authorities say the baby had been stabbed. They say Watkins appeared to be suffering from mental issues when police found her in bed, covered with blood.
Watkins’ attorney, Norman Aubin, said after the hearing that doctors have six months to restore her to competency before an October hearing to re-evaluate her status and then have at least another six months if she is not found competent at that time.
“Right now she is incompetent, which means that because of her severe mental illness, she cannot understand the charges against her, and she cannot aid in her own defense,” Aubin said.
Watkins had been hospitalized, declared a danger to Jayniah and ordered to stay away from her before the slaying. Prosecutors have said social workers followed court orders in finding a relative to care for the child, but they didn’t know the mother had moved into the aunt’s home.