I’ve written about Gabriel Johnson‘s case before. He has been missing since December 2009, when he was seven months old. He would now be two and a half, but he’s probably dead and the police have openly said they think his mother, Elizabeth, murdered him.
Elizabeth was supposed to stand trial for kidnapping, custodial interference and child abuse, but she’s just been ruled incompetent. Again. Last summer she was found incompetent and then three months later re-examined and determined to be competent again.
This time, four out of five mental health experts said she was too screwed-up to assist her defense. This article notes that out of those four, only three thought she might eventually get her competency restored with drugs and counseling. Of course that’s what everybody wants to happen (except, perhaps, Elizabeth herself, see below), but in the meantime of course the trial will be delayed.
From this article:
Judge Paul McMurdie also ruled that there was not clear and convincing evidence that she will never be mentally fit to stand trial. McMurdie ordered her back in treatment and back into the restoration process. He requested an update on her mental health in 60 days.
Dan Raynak, Johnson’s attorney, argued that his client has not told him or any member of his defense team one fact about the case despite months and months of trying.
Raynak told the court his more than two decades as an attorney convinces him Johnson will never be able to be restored so that she can aid in her defense.
The prosecutor, and Gabriel’s father, believe Elizabeth is just playing games with everyone and it’s not that she is unable to assist her defense but that she refuses to. Elizabeth’s grandfather thinks she’s bipolar, and from her behavior I’ve read about I wonder if she might have a borderline personality. Which is not to say that she couldn’t be both bipolar and borderline at the same time. There’s a great deal of co-morbidity in mental illness — that is, people who have one diagnosed mental disorder not infrequently have more than one.
The East Valley Tribune also has a good article about this (the Johnson case that is, not mental illness), with more details.