Judge Orders McCarron To Undergo Psych Evaluation
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 26, 2006
PEKIN, ILLINOIS--A Tazewell County judge has ruled that Dr. Karen McCarron must be examined by a mental health expert to determine whether she is "mentally fit" to stand trial for murder charges related to the death of her three-year-old daughter, Katie.
The Peoria Journal Star reported that McCarron's defense attorneys questioned whether their client could understand the court proceedings, considering their recent observations of her and her history of mental health problems.
One attorney said that even if McCarron is deemed fit to stand trial, there is a "high probability" that an insanity defense would be pursued.
Police charged McCarron, 37, with murder after she admitted that on May 13 she took her daughter, who had autism, to the home of the girl's grandmother, where she held a plastic trash bag over her head until she stopped breathing.
A grand jury later indicted her on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of obstructing justice, and one count of concealing a homicidal death because she allegedly took her daughter's dead body from the scene of the crime to her own house, and placed it in bed to make it look as if the girl was napping. McCarron also confessed to going back to retrieve the plastic bag and discarding it in a gas station garbage can.
Days later, McCarron said she was overwhelmed by her daughter's disability and wanted to "end her pain and her daughter's pain". After her daughter was dead, McCarron, a pathologist, said she tried committing suicide by overdosing on Tylenol.
McCarron could face up to 100 years in prison if convicted of the murder charges. The additional charges could add more prison time.
Expert to assess McCarron's fitness (Peoria Journal Star)
Karen McCarron: Doctor Says She Killed Daughter To 'End Their Pain' (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)