Competency Trial decision for Phien Sisouvanh - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Competency Trial decision for Phien Sisouvanh

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Judge Robert Swisher has determined that Phien Sisouvanh is competent to stand trial.

Sisouvanh is the woman accused of killing a pregnant woman in Columbia Park and cutting out her unborn baby back in 2008.

This decision means the trial will now go forward. During today's court hearing the judge talked about what lead up to his final decision. He said overall Sisouvanh did not meet the terms required to be labeled as incompetent.

After the hearing we talked with both the prosecuting and defending attorneys.  

"We feel comfortable with the decision," prosecuting attorney Andy Miller said. "The other advantage of this is too often the victim can be forgotten in the trial and this hopefully will move things along towards closure." 

"I think my client is extraordinarily and extremely mentally ill," defense attorney Michael Iaria said. "I think the only evidence to the contrary to this case was not by a PHD psychologist." 

If Sisouvanh had been declared incompetent she would most likely have been committed to Eastern State Hospital indefinitely.

A tentative date for next Monday will determine when an official trial date will be set then the proceedings will go to pre-trial. 

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