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Sebastopol woman charged in mother's murder found unfit for trial

A Sebastopol woman charged with stabbing her mother to death is mentally unfit to stand trial, a judge ruled Thursday.

Julia Franzen, 24, faces a murder charge in the Feb. 4 slaying of Nancy Franzen, 59, at her Tocchini Street home.

Criminal proceedings had been suspended while two doctors examined the daughter, who had a history of mental illness.

Homicide Investigation In Sebastopol

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Both found her to be incompetent to assist in her own defense, prosecutor Brian Staebell said in open court.

Mental health officials will now recommend treatment in an attempt to restore her competence. She could be placed in a psychiatric hospital for an indefinite period or ordered to take medication, said her lawyer, Tyler Hicks.

Judge Knoel Owen scheduled a "Sell hearing" for May 15 to determine her willingness to take drugs. The next public hearing is May 23.

Franzen, who remains in custody, was handcuffed to a wheelchair in court. She appeared to be talking to herself and said "objection" during the proceeding.

She was arrested shortly after her mother's body was found on a bedroom floor. Neighbors told deputies they saw Julia Franzen walking outside the home with a knife and blood on her hands.

She reportedly told the neighbor she had killed someone.

Prosecutors have not released a motive for the attack.


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