Lodmell to Undergo Competency Exam

Lodmell to Undergo Competency Exam

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A mentally ill Utah woman accused of abducting and drowning her 19-month-old granddaughter in the Snake River will undergo a competency exam to determine whether she is fit for trial.

U.S. District Judge Samuel Alba ordered Kelley Jean Lodmell, 38, sent to a mental facility in either Springfield, Mo., or La Jolla, Calif. She's expected to be there for about two months.

On Thursday, Lodmell was charged with federal kidnapping for allegedly stealing the child from her great-grandmother's house in Salt Lake City and driving her to Idaho Falls. There, Idaho prosecutors say, she drowned Acacia in the Snake River in a murder-suicide attempt. Lodmell has pleaded innocent to kidnapping and murder charges.

The competency exam will determine whether Lodmell understands the charges and can assist her attorneys in her defense.

Acacia remains missing. Her parents, Adam Bishop and Casey Lodmell, of Holladay, Utah, say they remain hopeful the girl is alive and that her grandmother lied and gave Acacia to someone in Idaho Falls.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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