FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A judge ordered a mental competency evaluation Monday for a 19-year-old woman accused of fatally stabbing her 67-year-old grandmother.
The court also postponed Hestina Harris’ bond review. She’s been held without bail since she was charged on Christmas Eve with first- and second-degree murder in the Dec. 22 slaying of Lillie Morris.READ MORE: Police ID Men Killed In Dorchester County Double Homicide
Harris denied killing Morris. She told investigators she saw a masked man in a black hooded sweatshirt running from a side door of the house shortly after the attack, according to charging documents.
Defense attorney Richard Bricken declined to comment on Harris’ statements to police. He said he met with family members Sunday and “I got the impression there was a very loving relationship between Ms. Harris and the grandmother.”
A court-appointed psychiatrist will determine if Harris is competent to stand trial.READ MORE: Weather Alert Day For Friday And Saturday Due To Snow Potential
Morris was found with multiple chest wounds on the front lawn of her home near the rural community of Burkittsville with a large kitchen knife nearby. Harris also lived there with her grandfather and her 4-month-old daughter.
Police said in charging documents that Harris’ statements to investigators were inconsistent. For example, she told police she didn’t hear the attack because she was upstairs, listening to music on headphones. But she also said she came downstairs and saw Morris on the lawn after hearing the front door open and her baby crying.
Police said Harris also failed to fully explain the blood found on her arms and on a T-shirt belonging to her that investigators retrieved from an upstairs bathroom. Harris said was stained with blood as she knelt “chest-to-chest” over her grandmother on the lawn. But several people who stopped to offer assistance told police they never saw Harris leave the front porch after the first motorist saw the body, honked her horn and told Harris to call 911.
Police said they found no sign of forced entry. Morris’ husband told investigators he had left home earlier that afternoon for his job as a public school custodian.MORE NEWS: Friends, Family Remember Lost Baltimore Firefighters In Procession To Funeral Homes
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