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McCandless Mom To Undergo Mental Evaluation

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The woman accused of holding two of her children underwater in a bathtub last week will undergo a mental evaluation.

Laurel Michelle Schlemmer will be sent to Torrance State Hospital for no more than 90 days.

A jail psychiatrist testified in court this morning that Schlemmer is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Schlemmer will be treated at Torrance to determine if she can stand trial in the future.

Jail Chief Psychiatrist Doctor Christine Martone says Schlemmer suffers from major depressive disorder, is psychotic and has suicidal thoughts.

Schlemmer told police she heard crazy voices telling her to push her 3- and 6-year-old sons underwater in the bathtub.

The children were found on the bathroom floor when police and paramedics arrived at the home after Schlemmer called 911.

They were then rushed to UPMC Passavant Hospital.

According to the Medical Examiner's Office, the 3-year-old passed away at the hospital. Over the weekend, 6-year-old Daniel Schlemmer passed away at Children's Hospital.

Criminal defense attorney Phil DiLucente isn't involved in the Schlemmer case, but explains what her health evaluation means.

"It's more than just a cooperation," he said. "What it comes down to is can they reason? Can they actually present reasoning to their actions? In this case, she may understand that they're dead, she may understand that they're dead because of her, but they might not be able to reason it."

The judge also issued a gag order in the case at the request of the Schlemmer's defense attorney.

"Everything can play an impact," DiLucente said. "Particularly sudden evidence that's brought to the public realm without medical personnel actually listening to it."

McCandless Mother Denied Bail, On Suicide Watch (4/3/14)
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