A DuPage County judge agreed Monday to delay the mental fitness exam for a woman accused of slashing her 4-year-old daughter's throat.
Attorneys for 43-year-old Marci Webber argued the examination would be premature because their client remains on suicide watch in the county jail and has been unable to meet with them privately.
"The only thing we have as facts of the case is from the newspapers," DuPage County Public Defender Jeff York said.
Prosecutors are seeking a mental fitness evaluation in anticipation of Webber raising a potential insanity defense.
According to court records, Webber was "inconsistent and evasive" when she gave a police interview two days after authorities found her daughter Magdalene's body in a bathtub at a home in Bloomingdale on Nov. 3.
During the interview, Webber said she slashed her daughter's throat "to avoid having her child being abused and turned into a sex slave, and being tortured and killed by having her head cut off," court records state.
Assistant State's Attorney Alex McGimpsey said a psychologist was prepared to begin examining Webber on Monday.
"From the state's perspective, time is of the essence," he said.
Because Webber is considered a suicide risk, a sheriff's deputy must accompany her at all times. York said the situation has posed a problem.
"I don't want a law enforcement official to overhear our trial strategy," he said. Judge George Bakalis directed the attorneys to consult with jail officials about a possible private meeting. Meantime, he said, the mental health examination will be indefinitely postponed.