Psych exams ordered for suspect who said she dreamed about killing son

Dec 2 2011 - 7:21am

OGDEN -- Psychological exams were ordered Thursday for a mother who police say had dreams of killing her 10-year-old son, then tried to do it.

Arraigned Tuesday on a charge of first-degree felony attempted murder, Tammy Crane, 38, was back in court Thursday for a status conference where her public defender asked for evaluations to ensure she is competent to stand trial.

The exams by two mental health professionals, ordered by 2nd District Judge Michael Lyon, will determine if she understands the proceedings against her and can assist in her own defense. Lyon set a Jan. 5 date to review the test results.

Crane actually called 911 herself the night after Thanksgiving, to say she had attempted to kill the boy in what police detailed as the first of three confessions.

"She woke up tonight and decided to follow through with several dreams she has been having to kill herself and her son," according to charging documents. The boy suffered a bloody nose and has been placed with a family member.

Crane made the 911 call at 2:52 a.m. Nov. 25 from a condo in the 3400 block of Kenna Lane in West Haven where she had been staying with a relative. She is being held in the Weber County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Crane's public defender, Mike Bouwhuis, said after Thursday's hearing that Crane has a history of depression "but the behavior alleged is completely out of character. ... It's her own son and she's never done anything like this before."

The allegations alone would warrant the psychological exams, he said: "This is a family situation. It's not like two guys in a bar fighting and someone pulls a knife."

Crane contemplated an overdose of pills for her suicide, according to initial reports. She put a pillow over her son's head to try to smother him, pinning his arms under her legs, according to a probable cause affidavit.

"The son was able to ask, 'Mom, why are you hurting me?' and Tammy stopped, taking the pillow off of his face," the affidavit said.

Her admissions include a videotaped interview by a detective as well as the call to dispatch and remarks to the first officer on the scene.

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