The Oak Ridge grandmother facing the death penalty in a first-degree murder case will be taken to a psychiatric hospital where her competency and mental health can be evaluated, according to Anderson County court records.
The defendant, Valerie Stenson, 53, is currently being held at the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville. She will be taken to Moccasin Bend Psychiatric Hospital in Chattanooga for an intake scheduled for 1:30 p.m. January 17, according to an order filed in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton on Wednesday, January 3.
A two-week trial for Stenson had been scheduled for December 2017, but it was canceled and a mental health evaluation was ordered. It’s not clear if or when the trial will be rescheduled.
Court orders filed in August and October called for a psychiatric evaluation of Stenson and a referral to Moccasin Bend, where experts can determine her competency to stand trial and her mental condition at the time of the crime (the insanity defense). [Read more…]