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Mental competency review says Warhola still not ready for trial

By Mark Shenefelt - | Apr 26, 2022

NICHOLAS DRANEY, Standard-Examiner file photo

Sun Cha Warhola appears in 2nd District Court in Farmington on Monday, Oct. 18, 2010.

FARMINGTON — A new mental health evaluation says there’s a “substantial probability” that murder defendant Sun Cha Warhola’s competence to stand trial can be restored.

But until then, Warhola will remain under treatment at the Utah State Hospital, attorneys said Monday in 2nd District Court.

Warhola, 56, has been in custody either at the Davis County Jail or at the state institution ever since her arrest on Sept. 8, 2010, in the strangulation deaths of her children, James, 8, and Jean, 7, in Layton.

According to online court records, defense attorney Edward Brass and prosecutor Brandon Poll of the Davis County Attorney’s Office discussed Warhola’s status with Judge Michael Edwards on Monday afternoon. Having reviewed the latest evaluation from therapists at the state hospital, they agreed that Warhola “is not competent to proceed to trial at this time, but there is substantial probability the defendant would be competent to proceed” at some point.

Edwards set another hearing for Aug. 2.

Warhola spent nine years at the state hospital before doctors determined that her mental competency had been restored, and she was transferred back to the Davis County Jail. She was days away from trial in September 2021 when Brass informed the court that her mental health had regressed. Edwards then ordered her sent back to the state hospital for further evaluation and treatment.


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