Woman deemed fit to stand trial for attempted murder

WOODSTOCK – A Harvard woman accused of putting a knife down her infant son’s throat is competent to stand trial after treatment in a mental health facility.

Claudia Mejia, 37, has been in custody since Dec. 16, charged with one count each of attempted murder and aggravated battery of a child.

The baby, who was 9 months old at the time, was flown to Rockford Memorial Hospital and has recovered.

In January, Mejia was found unfit to stand trial. A psychologist said she was likely suffering from a prolonged postpartum depression.

She was transferred to a mental health facility where she received treatment until Wednesday, when she was sent back to the McHenry County Jail.

Based on reports by mental health professionals, Judge Sharon Prather determined Mejia has been reinstated to fitness and can be tried on the charges.

Mental competency, or fitness, pertains to a defendant’s mental status, while insanity deals with whether a defendant was legally able to tell the difference between right and wrong while committing a crime.

According to an evaluation several days after Mejia was arrested, she did not know why she was incarcerated and could not answer questions regarding the date and time.

She did not eat for at least two days and corrections officers helped her bathe because she did not seem aware of what was occurring.

“If the matter proceeds to trial, I suspect that she’ll be found not guilty by reason of insanity because of her mental illness,” defense attorney Wes Pribla said.

Mejia’s next scheduled court date is Oct. 9.

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