Fulfilling our obligation: This report is part of the Sheboygan Press's mission to follow criminal cases from arrest to their conclusion.
SHEBOYGAN - Prosecutors' case against a Sheboygan Falls woman charged with homicide has been on hold since April, when her attorneys raised doubts about whether she was competent to stand trial.
That case will proceed, after Sheboygan County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Borowski found Natalia Hitchcock competent on Thursday.
Hitchcock, 41, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide on suspicion of killing her 8-year-old son. She was also charged with attempted homicide on suspicion of holding another child under water in the bathtub days prior.
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Hitchcock told police she strangled her son to protect him, after describing delusions that other people were going to harm her children.
People can only be tried for a crime if they are mentally competent, meaning they are able to understand the charges against them and able to assist their lawyer.
Two doctors separately evaluated Hitchcock and both found her competent to proceed. Her attorneys did not contest their findings.
A competency evaluation, which essentially aims to determine if a defendant can understand court proceedings, is a separate issue from a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity, said Daniel Blinka, a professor of law at Marquette University.
Hitchcock's attorneys have not yet entered any plea in the case. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 7.
This article originally appeared on Sheboygan Press: Sheboygan Falls mother charged with homicide found competent for trial