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Lodi mother who ran car into train will not be re-evaluated

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Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 5:18 pm | Updated: 6:22 am, Wed Apr 18, 2012.

The Lodi mother facing attempted murder charges will not be mentally re-evaluated by doctors despite her lawyer’s request, a San Joaquin County Superior Judge determined Monday.

Christine Leach, 43, faces attempted murder charges and child endangerment charges, among others, after she ran her white Chevrolet Malibu into a moving train in October 2011.

Leach has already been deemed competent to stand trial after two separate court-appointed doctors mentally evaluated her in December.

But Leach’s attorney Gregory Davenport said in court his client had “regressed” and that she needed to be re-evaluated.

However, Superior Court Judge Franklin Stephenson said because she was mentally evaluated only a few months ago, she did not need a follow-up evaluation.

“It is my firm belief that she does not have the mental ability to assist counsel in the course of these proceedings,” Davenport said. “She does not understand the role of the judge, the prosecutor or what is actually occurring during the legal process.”

Davenport added that he is working to try and address the court’s recent ruling in hopes that Leach may be evaluated again in the near future.

He could not comment on her current condition, whether she is eating or whether she is healthy.

Leach was heading westbound on Pine Street in Lodi on Oct. 7, 2011 when she suddenly stepped on the gas and pulled out from a line of cars waiting for a Union Pacific train to pass.

The Chevrolet Malibu slammed into the train, injuring Leach’s 5-year-old daughter who was airlifted to a Sacramento hospital for evaluation.

Leach’s daughter was later released to Child Protective Services, and Leach has remained in custody since the incident.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 21 in Stockton.

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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