Third mental exam sought for Indiana mother accused of killing her children
ELKHART, Ind. — Prosecutors and public defenders say an Indiana woman accused of smothering her two young children to death likely won’t be found competent to assist in her own trial.
An Elkhart County judge on Thursday ordered a third mental competency exam, requested by both sides, for Amber Pasztor, 29, of Fort Wayne. Court records have shown Pasztor has a history of bipolar disorder.
“There is some definite concern for the depth of issues surrounding her mental health,” Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Becker told Elkhart Circuit Court Judge Michael Christofeno. “At this point, the state believes the court could have her committed to Logansport mental hospital.”
Christofeno also postponed Pasztor’s March 20 trial. He noted that Pasztor has said she wants to plead guilty, but told her the court has to determine her competency first. Becker said if Pasztor must undergo treatment before she can be put on trial the process may take three to five years.
Pasztor faces two counts of murder in the Sept. 26 killings of 7-year-old Liliana Hernandez and 6-year-old Rene Pasztor. The children were killed after being abducted from their custodial grandparents’ home.
Investigators have said Pasztor parked a car outside the Elkhart Police Department hours after the children were abducted and told an officer her children’s bodies were in the back seat. Elkhart is about 70 miles northwest of Fort Wayne.
Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence without parole.