Woman accused of stabbing her child at St. George motel appears for competency hearing

St. George Police secure the area at a Motel 6 after an 8-year-old was allegedly attacked there Aug. 26. Thursday, a court ruled the woman accused of stabbing her child was competent to continue criminal proceedings.

St. George Police secure the area at a Motel 6 after an 8-year-old was allegedly attacked there Aug. 26. Thursday, a court ruled the woman accused of stabbing her child was competent to continue criminal proceedings. (Joseph Witham, St. George News)



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

ST. GEORGE — A woman accused of stabbing her 8-year-old son with scissors at a Motel 6 on Aug. 26 was determined to be competent to continue criminal proceedings after a hearing held Thursday morning at the St. George Courthouse.

Megan Michelle Stewart, 28, and her attorney Michael Lastowski, appeared before Judge John Walton in 5th District Court via video from Purgatory Correctional Facility on charges of first-degree attempted murder, second-degree child abuse and a third-degree offense of violating a previous protective order.

Walton said a report from psychologist Lindsey North determined that Stewart was competent to proceed with the next phase of the case. The judge waived the preliminary hearing and set Stewart's next hearing for a diminished capacity review on Feb. 10.

After the judge's action, Stewart, in tears, said her only words of the hearing: "Thank you, your honor."

Under Utah law, competency has to do with the defendant's state of mind during criminal proceedings; however, the diminished capacity review concerns a defendant's state during an alleged crime.

A "diminished capacity" plea is different from an insanity plea, which usually results in a "not guilty" verdict. A diminished capacity plea could result in a conviction of a lesser offense.

Read the full article at St. George News.

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Chris Reed

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