Vt. woman accused in grandson's death may be released
HYDE PARK, Vt. -
Pamela Raymond, 55, was escorted into the Lamoille County Courthouse in handcuffs, but she may not be in custody much longer.
"Your honor, issuing an honor of allowing the application to proceed to the Department of Corrections for their review for the appropriateness of home detention," said Marc Eagle, Murphy's lawyer.
Raymond is charged with murder, accused of drugging her 3-month-old grandson because he would not stop crying two years ago. But a judge last month found Raymond incompetent to stand trial. The defense argued she no longer has the mental capacity to understand the case against her. Her lawyer now wants Raymond released from jail and allowed to live at home with her husband in Morrisville, the same home where the alleged murder occurred. He argued this will help Raymond get the mental health help she needs.
"I want to look at the proposal, but I am anticipating we will oppose any release from a secure facility," Lamoille County Prosecutor Joel Page said.
A psychiatrist for the prosecution argued Raymond faked the mental health issues, since her symptoms appeared around the same time a plea deal was in the works and her murder trial was approaching. Raymond had been released on bail, but was sent back to prison because she violated conditions of release by going to a makeup party. Prosecutors say she cannot be trusted.
"We have some real concerns," Page said. "If she is so incompetent she can't stand trial, then how is she supposed to understand and appreciate the conditions, make informed decisions about where she can go, when she can go, what she can do?"
This hearing on her possible release will not decide what mental health treatment she should get and where that will happen. Prosecutors say when her mental health improves Pamela Raymond will one day stand trial for murdering her grandson.
"The charge doesn't go away, it is always pending. It's not like it's going to be dismissed," Page said.
A decision on whether Pamela Raymond will be eligible for home detention is expected early next year.
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