For many, simply classifying someone as a criminal is the easiest way to make sense of and move on from the tragedy of a suspected crime. Sometimes, however, someone who has done something illegal might not simply be a criminal. He or she might be mentally ill.
Whether that is the case in a current Maryland car theft case is yet to be determined. But, according to The Washington Post, a judge has ordered for a theft suspect’s mental state to be evaluated by a psychiatric professional. The results of the tests could make a significant difference in the suspect’s sentencing should he be convicted of a crime.
According to reports, this Maryland case stems from an incident that took place on the Capital Beltway last Wednesday night. A woman claims that the 22-year-old defendant got into her vehicle at a gas station, with her baby in the backseat. The suspect reportedly refused to let the woman and her baby leave the vehicle as he drove off.
The woman claims that she believed she and her baby were going to die, and she somehow managed to get out of her vehicle with her baby, as the defendant was still driving the car. While the baby got out of the incident unscathed, the mother did suffer some minor injuries.
A Maryland State Trooper pursued the stolen vehicle in an effort to help the family and arrest the suspect. As a result of the arrest, the defendant faces assault, kidnapping and car theft charges. Reports indicate that the suspect has confessed to the actions described in police reports.
We will post an update when there are new developments in this case.
The Washington Post: “Judge orders psychiatric evaluation for carjacking suspect,” Dan Morse and June Q. Wu, 15 Jul. 2011
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