Courts

Doctor to review mental competency after woman charged with sororicide refuses to come to court

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Superior Court judge last week appointed a doctor to examine the mental competency of a murder suspect after she refused to appear in court.

David Krypel of the Public Defender’s Office, appointed through the court, said that Sandra Lee Marquette, 60, left him several voicemails from a jail phone, saying she wouldn’t come to court with him.

“I want to raise a doubt as to her competency pursuant to 1368,” Krypel said in a hearing on the 14th.

The law allows judges to postpone criminal proceedings until a doctor can determine that the suspect is competent to stand trial. Defendants are considered mentally competent if they can understand the nature of the criminal justice system and the charges against them, assist their legal team in presenting a defense, and understand their own status in the case.

Marquette having disputes with her lawyer isn’t a new theme. She attempted to drop Krypel through a Marsden motion in early June, according to court records, but that motion was denied.

Judge Ken Brody appointed Doctor Marine Jakubowski from the court’s expert panel to prepare a report on Marquette’s mental competency, due on August 25th. If Jakubowski is unable to perform the competency examination, alternate doctor Camille Morgan will take her place.

Marquette was originally arrested in December of 2021 after a man found his wife dead in her sister-in-law’s house. Susan Marquette went over to Sandra Lee’s house on Rutherford Way for a visit and never returned.

Metro Fire officials found Susan appearing “obviously deceased” with “extensive physical trauma”. Assisting deputies said Sandra Lee fled the scene and was apprehended shortly later at the intersection of Jackson Street and Madison Avenue.

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