by Mickey Smith
Charges against a woman who allegedly dosed her grandchild with prescription medication which resulted in his death have been dismissed by the court, but Judge Dennis Pearson still wants her to receive mental health treatment.
Pamela Raymond, 56, had been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her three month old grandson in October of 2010. In an interview with police, she admitted to putting medication meant for her husband into her grandson’s bottle.
Since then, the question has been raised of her competency to stand trial. She was evaluated by two psychiatrists, Dr. Jonathan Weker and Dr. Paul Cotton. The two doctors had similar findings of fact, as well as diagnoses, but differed on their opinion of legal competency. As a result, in his ruling, Judge Dennis Pearson sided with the defense determination and has placed Raymond in the custody of the Department of Mental Health.
Lamoille County State’s Attorney Joel Page said his office stands by the findings of their psychiatrist who said she was competent to stand trial. He said because of this his office did not make any recommendations regarding hospitalization because they feel she should be standing trial.
Page said it goes to show how subjective the process can be because you have “two highly skilled psychiatrists reaching totally different conclusions.”
Page said the decision to dismiss the charges was entirely at the discretion of Judge Pearson. He said in some cases charges go non-active while the order of non-hospitalization is in place, but in this case the Judge chose to dismiss the charges.
Page said competency is based on the situation at the time and has to do with her ability to understand and work with the process. Page said because this is a fluid situation, the door is still open for the charges to be re-filed if new evidence points towards a change in her competency.