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Published: Tuesday, 6/10/2008

Toledo caretaker competent to be tried in niece's death

George George
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A 71-year-old Toledo woman has been found competent to stand trial in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on charges that she failed to care for her impaired niece.

Judge Stacy Cook ruled yesterday that Naomi George was competent after a psychologist at Court Diagnostic and Treatment Facility determined she was not suffering from a severe mental illness or defect and she would be able to assist her attorney at trial.

Ms. George, of 1812 Ridgewood Ave., is charged with reckless homicide and failure to care for a functionally impaired person. She is being held in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $25,000 bond.

The charges stem from the death of the woman's niece, Lorna George, 52, who died Jan. 30 at the Ridgewood Avenue address.

Authorities said the niece, who had been bedridden since birth, died from sepsis, decubitus ulcers, dehydration, and chronic hydrocephalus.

After Judge Cook issued her competency ruling, Kristin Stahlbush, Ms. George's attorney, withdrew a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity that she entered at arraignment.

Judge Cook set a trial date for July 14.

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