IM this article to a friend!

March 18, 2004

Judge orders treatment for alleged stabber

From: Stoughton Journal, MA - Mar 18, 2004

By Melissa Beecher / CNC Staff Writer

NEWTON -- A deaf woman accused of stabbing two people on Monday night was ordered by a judge to undergo a 20-day psychological evaluation at Westborough State Hospital.

Francesca Leventure, 22, of 614 Watertown St., Newton, appeared in Newton District Court yesterday after being confined most of the day in a holding cell.

Leventure could not communicate with her defense attorney or a court-appointed doctor because a licensed sign language interpreter was not present. Court officials said an interpreter was scheduledbut did not show.

Leventure appeared confused as she stood in court. Her defense attorney said she cannot read lips and is deaf and developmentally delayed.

"We are not able to go forward because I have not been able to communicate with my client," said defense attorney Marcie Phillips.

According to Phillips, she had questions about her client's competency to stand trial and any criminal responsibility in regards to the alleged incident.

Leventure lives at 614 Watertown St. with other deaf and mentally challenged residents, court officials said.

Police said officers arrested Leventure Monday night after she stabbed her 34-year-old counselor with a 10-inch knife several times. Another resident suffered superficial wounds on her forearm, police said.

Sgt. Kenneth Dangelo said officers drew their guns in a tense standoff with Leventure, who did not immediately drop her weapons when police arrived.

"The suspect did not appear to understand the officers' orders. Officers made repeated attempts to tell her to drop the weapons," said Dangelo.

As officers were preparing to use a "less-than-lethal" shotgun, Leventure dropped the knives. According to police the specialized shotgun fires a rubber bullet or beanbag-like pellet at a suspect, temporarily stunning a suspect, but leaving no permanent injuries.

Police said Leventure and the victim were taken to Newton-Wellesley Hospital to be treated and observed. Neither victim suffered life-threatening injuries, police said.

Assistant District Attorney Dennis Teravainen and Phillips agreed to hold the arraignment after psychological observation at Westborough State Hospital. The arraignment is scheduled for April 6.

© Copyright of CNC and Herald Interactive Advertising Systems, Inc.