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Attorney says woman charged with stabbing Boston EMT not competent to stand trial

Attorney for woman charged with stabbing Boston EMT wants case dismissed
Attorney for woman charged with stabbing Boston EMT wants case dismissed 02:21

BOSTON - A judge has taken under advisement a motion to have the case dismissed against an East Boston woman charged with stabbing a Boston EMT while being transported to the hospital July 10, 2019.

Her attorney says Julie Tejeda remains incompetent to stand trial according to her doctors, and the case should not continue to languish, says defense attorney Eduardo Masferrer. "She was found not competent from the very first day, no doctor has said she will get better," Masferrer told Judge Chris Belezos who says Tejeda remains delusional.

Tejeda looked on via video during the hearing at Suffolk Superior Court that was packed with medics who came to support one of their own Elaina McAlister, still recovering from stab wounds she received on the job to her abdomen and leg.

"We want justice"    

Union president Matthew Anderson says he is incensed at the dismissal request. "There are people who suffer mental illness every day, they don't commit acts of violence against other people," said Anderson. "We want justice for Elaina and dismissing the case isn't justice."

McAlister and her partner responded to a call for an emotionally disturbed person at an East Boston fire station, and during transport to the hospital Tejeda allegedly lashed out, stabbing McAlister then pepper spraying both her and partner. 

Julie Tejeda
Julie Tejeda appears in court in 2019 for allegedly attacking a Boston EMT.  CBS Boston

Prosecutor Jillian Bannister cited other reports from doctors that Tejeda was making improvements. "I believe the doctor notes two changes in medication last year, and specifically the doctor notes demonstrated improvements with respect to psychotic symptoms," Bannister said.

Victim forced to retire due to injuries      

But EMTs say the entire procedure has a chilling impact on the difficult and often dangerous work they do. Union president Anderson says what happened to McAlister forced her into retirement due to the physical injuries and stress.

Now, training emphasizes more awareness for EMTs about the individuals they are helping. "We try to instill that in our folks from the time we bring them to the academy to the time they're training in the fields," said Boston EMS Chief James Hooley.

Outside court there were hugs of support for McAlister including from EMTs who traveled from New York and lost one of their colleagues to violence last year.

Judge Belezos says he will make a decision in the coming days on whether to dismiss the case but indicated it might be too soon for dismissal. "A relatively short revisit of this matter might be appropriate given new medications to see where things stand," Belezos said.

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