LIMA – A Lima teenager who police say stabbed her boyfriend to death last fall has been deemed competent to stand trial.
Autumn Spears, 19, who appeared in court Wednesday, is charged in the Sept. 25, 2017 stabbing death of Stephan Kimble-Childress, 27, of Toledo. Police say Spears stabbed the Toledo man at the Lima West Apartments, 1855 N. Cole St., Lima. The teen was indicted by a grand jury in November on two counts of murder, unclassified felonies, and two counts of felonious assault, felonies of the second degree.
Her lawyer, Kenneth Rexford, had previously requested his client undergo a series of psychological tests to determine her competency to stand trial. During Wednesday’s hearing, Rexford and prosecutors accepted the results of what was described as an “extensive evaluation” by mental health professionals of Spears that found her to be competent.
Rexford, however, raised the possibility of reaching out to experts in the mental health field as part of an additional evaluation focused on the mental status of his client at the time of the alleged offense. Whether or not the experts are hired depends upon the ability of Spears and her family to pay for such evaluations.
The evaluations could result in a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Rexford also suggested a battered woman syndrome defense could be employed should his client go to trial. The attorney previously had said in court that his client has a “history as a victim of sex trafficking.”
Judge David Cheney gave Rexford 10 days to file a motion to consider the not guilty by reason of insanity aspects of the case.
Prosecutors said Spears had previously been arrested in Toledo in a separate stabbing incident.