Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho yesterday placed on house arrest Loretta R. Feria, a 28-year-old woman who is accused of stabbing her 2-month-old baby several times.
Camacho allowed Feria’s temporary release upon posting a $1,000 cash and $249,000 unsecured bond. Feria’s original bail was $250,000 cash.
The suspect’s sister will act as her third-party custodian.
Chief public defender Douglas Hartig is counsel for Feria. Assistant attorney general Brian Flaherty appeared for the government.
Feria will not be allowed to leave the house without her third-party custodian. She is allowed to see her children as long as both the third-party custodian and her husband are present to watch her and the children interact. She is not allowed to stay with the children.
She and her husband have three children, ages 3, 2, and the now 6-month old baby. She had a miscarriage in 2011.
Feria is required to continue taking her medication.
Camacho modified the bail after Dr. Martin Blinder, a Hawaii-based psychiatrist who examined Feria on July 3, 2013, found her to have suffered post-partum psychosis, major depression, and other mental disorder when the incident happened.
Blinder said that Feria meets the standard for insanity in that, at the time of her offense, “she knew not the nature, quality, nor the wrongfulness of her acts.”
Blinder, however, determined that due to medication, Feria’s competency has been restored and that she is now mentally fit to proceed with her trial.
With Blinder’s expert report, the burden now falls on the Office of the Attorney General to prove that she had criminal intent to commit the offense at the time of the crime.
The OAG will have to make decision now whether to go ahead with prosecuting the case or dismiss it.
No trial date has been set because the case was put on hold awaiting Feria’s mental evaluation.
Camacho set a status conference for Oct. 16, 2013.
According to police and court records, police received a call on Feb. 9, 2013, at 8:48pm about a stabbing incident at a house in Chalan Kanoa.
Police learned that Feria admitted to officers at the scene that she stabbed her baby. The baby was taken to the Commonwealth Health Center and was treated for a stab wound in the abdomen, a laceration in the neck, and abrasions on the left wrist. After surgery, she was listed in stable condition.
The OAG charged Feria with attempted murder in the first degree, aggravated assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, and child abuse.
The Office of the Public Defender has entered a not guilty plea for Feria due to mental defect and mental illness.