Manslaughter defendant, 80, ruled mentally incompetent to face court proceedings
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
1/30/13 at 4:05 AM
An 80-year-old woman who is subject to sentencing on a manslaughter charge is incompetent to face proceedings in that criminal case, a psychologist reported.
Based on the report and findings of Shawn Roberson, a forensic psychologist, Tulsa County District Judge William Kellough found that Betty Edwards Jamison is incompetent but not in need of treatment.
Defense attorney Darrell Bolton said that based on her dementia, Jamison will not be able to attain mental competency.
At a hearing Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Erik Grayless reserved the right to request a jury trial on the competency issue.
Kellough directed attorneys to notify him by noon Wednesday if such a trial is needed.
Jamison is living at her home, Bolton said.
The test for mental competency focuses on whether a defendant can appreciate the nature of the charges, consult with his or her lawyer, and assist in preparing a court defense.
At a September hearing, the Tulsa Jail's medical director testified that Jamison's condition had worsened significantly since she arrived at the jail earlier that month.
Jamison was jailed Sept. 4 after she pleaded no contest to first-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of Latrice White, 31.
The District Attorney's Office asserts that Jamison is competent to be sentenced, as she entered a no-contest plea that Kellough found to be knowing and voluntary.
Kellough will decide Feb. 28 whether Jamison can be sentenced in light of Roberson's findings.
White's death occurred after the Cadillac that Jamison was driving failed to stop at a stop sign at 56th Street North and Hartford Avenue on Jan. 18, 2010, police reported. A three-vehicle collision resulted, and White, 31, was fatally injured, according to police.
A court document states that Jamison was "impaired by Tramadol prescription medication and alcohol" at the time of the crash. Tramadol is a pain reliever with "side effects that may impair thinking and reactions," a police affidavit says.
Original Print Headline: Defendant ruled incompetent
Bill Braun 918-581-8455
Betty Edwards Jamison: A psychologist said Tuesday that Jamison's dementia makes her incompetent to face legal proceedings in her manslaughter case. She'd been jailed Sept. 4 after she pleaded no contest to a manslaughter charge in connection with a 2010 traffic accident that killed Latrice White, 31. The Tulsa Jail's medical director said in September that Jamison's mental condition worsened significantly at the jail. Jamison, 80, is now living at her home