CLINTON—Scheduled for December, the murder trial of an Oak Ridge grandmother who is facing the death penalty has been canceled, and a mental health evaluation has been ordered.
On Thursday, Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark in Clinton said he’s not sure if or when the trial for Valerie Stenson, 53, will be rescheduled, and he can’t address why the two-week trial in December has been canceled.
Some of the most recent court documents filed in the case relate to a psychiatric evaluation for Stenson. It’s not clear if that evaluation is related to the cancellation of the trial, which has been rescheduled before, but it does seem that it would be difficult to conduct the evaluation, which could last up to 30 days, before the trial in December.
A status hearing was scheduled for Stenson in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton on Monday, and subpoenas filed on Tuesday said the trial is off. It had been scheduled for December 4-8 and from December 11-15.
An August 14 order for a psychiatric evaluation that was filed by Anderson County Criminal Court Judge Don Elledge said Stenson was previously evaluated by State of Tennessee experts and determined to be competent to stand trial and to help with her defense. [Read more…]