A Sumner County judge on Thursday granted a request for a mental evaluation for a Wellington woman accused of killing her 10-year-old son last month while he was in bed.
In a motion requesting the testing for Lindsey Nicole Blansett that was filed in Sumner County District Court last month, court-appointed defense attorney Mike Brown said he had “a good faith basis that the Defendant may not be able to understand the nature and purpose of these proceedings,” referring to jury trial.
Thursday in court he made the same argument before District Judge R. Scott McQuin.
Blansett, 33, is charged with first-degree murder in the Dec. 14 stabbing death of her son, Caleb. She is accused in the criminal complaint of going into Caleb’s bedroom shortly before midnight that night, striking him with a rock and stabbing him “with a knife multiple times until he was dead.”
The document also says she had decided that Caleb’s “life would be full of suffering and it would be better for him to go to heaven tonight.”
Blansett called 911 to report the killing. Her 9-year-old daughter also was home at the time but was unharmed.
In recordings of the 911 call released last month, Blansett could be heard telling a dispatcher: “I thought I was saving him from the pain that was coming.” Between sobs, she also said: “I’m never going to get out of jail. Never.”
After hearing briefly from Brown and Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer during Thursday’s proceeding, McQuin said, “The court finds there is reason to believe that the defendant may be incompetent to stand trial.”
He ordered the evaluation and set another court date of Jan. 29. The journal entry on the action indicates the hearing will again concern Blansett’s competency to stand trial.
That proceeding is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Sumner County Courthouse, 501 N. Washington in Wellington.
Attorneys in the case also will appear in court Jan. 15 in response to the defense’s request for a gag order in the case, according to court records. In that motion, Brown has asked that all trial participants – including witnesses, court staff, law enforcement, the judge and attorneys’ staff – be barred from making statements outside the courtroom that could be disseminated to the media to protect Blansett’s rights to a fair trial.
Blansett, who goes by Nicole, appeared in court for Thursday’s hearing but did not speak. She was dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit and orange shoes, with restraints around her wrists and ankles.
She sat impassively beside her attorney during the hearing, which lasted only a few minutes. Her shackles clinked softly when she was escorted out of the courtroom by law enforcement.