Is Sisouvanh competent to stand trial? - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Is Sisouvanh competent to stand trial?

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- We are getting closer to seeing if the woman accused of killing a pregnant woman and cutting the baby out of her womb in Columbia Park in 2008 is competent to stand trial.

Closing arguments in Phien Sisouvanh's competency hearing wrapped up Thursday after nearly four full days in court spread over a month.

The defense team says her mental illnesses causes her to have memory lapses and she can't help herself in a trial. Prosecutors disagree. Now it's up to a judge to decide.

Dan Arnold, Sisouvanh's Public Defender said,"the judge is going to make a decision on Tuesday regarding competency and that's a crucial threshold question. We can do nothing without a finding that she's competent and until there is such a finding we can simply not go forward."

If Sisouvanh is found competent, she will go to trial and could spend the rest of her life in prison. If found not competent, she would likely spend her life at Eastern State Mental Hospital. Judge Robert Swisher will make his decision Tuesday afternoon.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/