Mother who killed daughter in 2010 should be released, psychologist says
The clinical psychologist who is treating Marci Webber is supporting a claim the East Nassau, New York, mother has made for years -- that she's sane and should be released back into society.
In 2012, Webber, 50, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2010 slashing death of her 4-year-old daughter and sentenced to the Elgin Mental Health Center for up to 100 years of psychiatric confinement. She was transferred to Chicago-Read Mental Health Center in October after filing a lawsuit against the Elgin facility, alleging mistreatment by staff and patients. That suit was later dismissed.
DuPage County Judge George J. Bakalis found Webber not guilty after a psychologist testified that she was suffering from paranoid delusions when she slashed her daughter's throat while visiting a relative in Bloomingdale. Webber told investigators that she killed the child to protect her from sexual predators and the devil.
At a Tuesday hearing to determine whether Webber should remain in an inpatient treatment facility, Chicago-Read officials, including Webber's attending psychologist, took the witness stand to tell Bakalis that she should be released.
"I would be confident with (Webber) being discharged and meeting with an outpatient psychologist at least once a week," Dr. Craig Jock said. "I would feel comfortable if she were released."
Jock, who has treated Webber twice a week for the last year, also confirmed Webber's claim that her diagnosis of major depressive disorder is in full remission.
"(Webber) has no active symptoms of mental illness. She is very stable," said Dr. Mir Obaid, a psychiatrist at Chicago-Read who runs a group-therapy session Webber attends. "There is no benefit (to Webber) other than that the court mandates her to be here. But for her wellness, she doesn't need inpatient psychiatry."
Webber's social worker, Lucyamma Menezes, also told Bakalis that she doesn't believe Webber should remain confined.
"I don't recommend inpatient therapy like our hospital," Menezes said. "Marci needs outside help. She needs to go to work and stay away from alcohol."
Menezes also said Webber "has a good reason for being frustrated and angry" about her confinement to the hospital.
Webber, who has refused psychiatric drugs for four years, has not yet decided whether to testify, according to DuPage County Public Defender Jeff York.
Prosecutors are expected to present their case explaining why Webber should remain in custody when the hearing resumes Oct. 11.
Outside the courthouse Tuesday evening, before being taken back to the hospital, Webber said she felt good about the day's proceedings.
"I'm just hoping I can figure out how to reinvent my life and that people will understand that I really love my daughters, more than anything in the world," Webber said. "Mentally, I'm a mixed bag of emotions. I'm sad. This isn't a happy day for me because it reminds me of what happened seven years ago. But I'm hopeful. I'm ready to get on with my life. I'm perfectly sane. I'm not mentally ill. I'm as sane as anybody walking around."