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Doctors say Lodi woman accused of attempted murder is still unfit to stand trial

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Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013 12:00 am

A Lodi woman who was accused of attempted murder after police said she drove her car into a moving train with her young child in the back seat will remain in a psychiatric hospital until she’s ruled competent to stand trail, a San Joaquin County Judge ordered on Thursday.

Doctors provided a report in which they once again deemed Christine Leach, 45, incompetent and unable to assist in her own defense. Leach will remain in Napa State Hospital, where she has received treatment since 2012.

In late November, doctors will submit another report regarding her competency. The hospital could also dismiss her at any time, and once she’s able to stand trial Leach will be transferred to San Joaquin County Jail for the duration of her court proceeding.

Leach faces charges of attempted murder and child endangerment of her of her 5-year-old daughter after she crashed her Chevrolet Malibu into a Union Pacific train in Lodi on Oct. 7, 2011.

In December 2011, two doctors evaluated Leach after her former lawyer, Gregory Davenport, questioned whether she would be mentally capable to stand trail.

In January 2012, two separate doctors chosen by the San Joaquin County Superior Court determined that Leach was competent.

Since then doctors reversed their decision, deemed Leach incompetent and transferred her from the county jail to a state hospital.

Last week, Leach was transferred to county jail and appeared in court for a hearing to determine if her daughter would be placed in an orphanage. The result of that hearing is not public record.

Throughout Leach’s court appearances, Davenport continually maintained that she never intended to harm anyone, and rather than seek incarceration he was hoping she could be placed in a care facility that also provides counseling.

With a preliminary hearing complete, Leach will stand trial once doctors determine that she can assist in her own defense.

Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at krisa@lodinews.com.

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