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Woman fit for trial on attempted murder of infant charges

WOODSTOCK – A Harvard woman accused of putting a knife down her infant son's throat has been found mentally competent to stand trial.

Claudia Mejia, 37, has been in custody since the incident 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 but has since recovered.

In January, Mejia was found unfit to stand trial after a psychologist found that she was likely suffering from a prolonged post-partum depression.

Mejia then was transferred into the custody of a mental health facility, where she received treatment until Wednesday, when she was remanded back into the custody of the McHenry County Jail.

Based on the reports of the mental health professionals, Judge Sharon Prather determined that Mejia has been reinstated to fitness.

Mental competency, or fitness, pertains to a defendant’s current mental status, while insanity deals with whether he or she 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 was not able to answer to questions regarding the date and time.

She did not eat for at least two days, and correctional officers had to help her bathe because she did not appear to be 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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