- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) - The mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter in at a coastal Oregon resort suffers from a mental condition and can’t proceed with her trial, according to her defense attorney.

Attorney Lynne Morgan filed a defense motion Monday asking for a competency evaluation of 42-year-old Jessica Smith, reported The Daily Astorian (https://bit.ly/1JIdaLY ).

“I have met with Ms. Smith on a number of occasions since my appointment to this case,” Morgan wrote in the court filing. “It is my opinion Ms. Smith currently suffers from a mental disease or defect and is unable to aid and assist in her own defense.”

Smith has pleaded not guilty to murder in the 2014 drowning death of her younger daughter. She also pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in the slashing of her 13-year-old daughter.

The surviving girl now lives with her father in Washington.



Smith is currently an inmate at Tillamook County Jail. She was evaluated by the state’s psychologist after refusing multiple times. The prosecution also says Smith met with the defense’s psychiatrist multiple times.

Results from the mental examinations have not been released.

Morgan claims that Smith does not seem to have a rational understanding of the case and the evidence against her. She wrote that the woman’s mental disability impairs her from being able to make a reasoned choice among the possible alternatives presented in the case.

Smith’s defense has also filed a motion accusing the state of breaking the confidential attorney-client relationship.

The next court hearing is scheduled for Thursday. A trial is set in June.

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Information from: The Daily Astorian, https://www.dailyastorian.com

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