Exam for ac­cused baby kid­nap­per re­quested

Pros­e­cu­tors ask judge to or­der Ch­esco woman to co­op­er­ate with psy­chi­a­trist

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - TURN BACK TIME - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mont­coCourtNews on Twit­ter

NOR­RIS­TOWN >> Pros­e­cu­tors have asked a judge to or­der a Ch­ester County woman to co­op­er­ate with a pros­e­cu­tion psy­chi­a­trist seek­ing to eval­u­ate her men­tal con­di­tion now that she has hinted she was legally in­sane when she al­legedly kid­napped a baby from its mother at the King of Prus­sia Plaza shop­ping com­plex.

In court pa­pers filed Mon­day, Mont­gomery County As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Bri­anna Ring­wood asked Judge Wil­liam R. Car­pen­ter to or­der Cheri Amoore to ap­pear and co­op­er­ate at a Nov. 9 ex­am­i­na­tion by Dr. John S. O’Brien at the county de­tec­tive bu­reau in Nor­ris­town. Ring­wood sug­gested that de­fense lawyer Marc Stein­berg and a de­tec­tive may be present dur­ing the ex­am­i­na­tion.

Ring­wood in­di­cated in court pa­pers she is seek­ing the judge’s or­der be­cause the par­ties have failed to reach an agree­ment re­gard­ing O’Brien’s pro­posed ex­am­i­na­tion of Amoore.

“Specif­i­cally, where a crim­i­nal de­fen­dant has pro­vided no­tice of his/her in­tent to as­sert an in­san­ity de­fense at trial, the court, upon mo­tion of the com­mon­wealth, shall or­der the de­fen­dant to sub­mit to an ex­am­i­na­tion by the com­mon­wealth’s men­tal health ex­pert,” Ring­wood wrote in court pa­pers cit­ing state law.

In July, Amoore, 32, of the 900 block of Up­per Gulph Road, Tredyf­frin, through Stein­berg, no­ti­fied the judge she would wage an in­san­ity de­fense at her up­com­ing trial.

“De­fen­dant suf­fered from dis­so­cia­tive episode sec­ondary to false pregnancy and sub­se­quent de­pres­sion,” Stein­berg wrote in court pa­pers at that time, in­di­cat­ing he in­tends to call two psy­chi­a­trists and a foren­sic psy­chol­o­gist at trial “to es­tab­lish said de­fense.”

Un­der state law, a per­son who is di­ag­nosed as in­sane suf­fers from a men­tal de­fect that pre­vents them from know­ing right from wrong or from re­al­iz­ing the na­ture and qual­ity of their ac­tions.

A per­son who is de­ter­mined to be not guilty by rea­son of in­san­ity at trial ini­tially could be com­mit-

ted to a men­tal health fa­cil­ity for treat­ment and re­ceive pe­ri­odic eval­u­a­tions. Once that per­son is deemed “cured” of men­tal ill­ness they could be re­leased from su­per­vi­sion with no re­quire­ment to serve any jail time.

Fol­low­ing the fil­ing of the de­fense no­tice Ring­wood re­sponded in court pa­pers that she in­tends to call upon O’Brien to ex­am­ine and eval­u­ate Amoore’s men­tal con­di­tion and whether she was crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble for her ac­tions at the time of the al­leged of­fense.

Amoore, whose mother is Penn­syl­va­nia Repub­li­can Party Deputy Chair­woman Re­nee Amoore, is

await­ing trial on charges of kid­nap­ping, false im­pris­on­ment, un­law­ful re­straint, reck­lessly en­dan­ger­ing an­other per­son, en­dan­ger­ing the wel­fare of a child, con­ceal­ment of where­abouts of a child and in­ter­fer­ence with the cus­tody of a child in con­nec­tion with the March 31 ab­duc­tion of 7-week-old Ashir Simmons.

Amoore has pleaded not guilty to the charges. A trial date has not yet been set.

The baby was found un­harmed at Amoore’s res­i­dence fol­low­ing an ex­ten­sive five-hour search in­volv­ing mul­ti­ple law en­force­ment agen­cies.

Author­i­ties al­leged sur­veil­lance video shows Amoore ap­proach­ing Simmons’ mother at the Plaza about 5:40 p.m., sit­ting down with her at the food court in the lower level, en­gag­ing

her in con­ver­sa­tion and then ab­scond­ing with the in­fant as the mother was tend­ing to an­other child. The child’s mother did not know Amoore, de­tec­tives said.

The video showed Amoore leav­ing the shop­ping cen­ter with the baby, tak­ing two steps at a time as she hur­ried up a stair­well lead­ing to a mall exit, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint.

Through in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by wit­nesses, in­ves­ti­ga­tors were able to iden­tify Amoore as the per­son who ab­ducted the baby, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments. At 10:18 p.m., in­ves­ti­ga­tors went to Amoore’s res­i­dence.

“I took the baby and I am sorry,” Amoore al­legedly told de­tec­tives as she an­swered the door.

The baby was found inside

the apart­ment un­in­jured and asleep in a car seat be­long­ing to Amoore, ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

Amoore told po­lice that she had taken the baby in a rush of emo­tions caused by los­ing her own baby in Fe­bru­ary, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint.

“I don’t know why I did it. I can’t ex­plain it. I held him and all those feel­ings rushed back,” Amoore told de­tec­tives, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint. “I just wanted my baby. It felt like I was hold­ing my son again. It felt so good. I didn’t want to lose that feel­ing. I was crazy. I never in­tended to do any­thing like this.”

Amoore posted $500,000 bail April 6 and was re­leased from the Mont­gomery County Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity to await fur­ther court ac­tion.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Cherie Amoore

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