Laura Lynn Hickey, the 25-year-old Centralia woman accused of decapitating her son with a serrated knife after he was born prematurely, is still under evaluation by the Western State Hospital in Tacoma for a determination on her competency to stand trial.
Hickey’s evaluation was expected to be completed before her arraignment Thursday, which is now on hold. She has not yet entered a plea to a charge of first-degree murder.
Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said Western State has told him Hickey will be returned Friday to the custody of Lewis County.
When Hickey last appeared in Lewis County Superior Court in mid-March, it was noted that Western State staff would visit Hickey at the Lewis County Jail for an evaluation.
Meyer said outside the courtroom that it’s difficult to determine how Western State will conduct an evaluation.
Hickey allegedly admitted to decapitating her baby – whose gestation had been 21 weeks – March 2 so he wouldn’t suffer. Hickey had given birth on a toilet in her trailer at the Peppertree West Motor Inn on Alder Street in Centralia and retrieved her baby from the water as he attempted to breathe and made a “gurgling” sound, court papers state.
The baby’s remains were found in a Tupperware container under a kitchen sink in the trailer after Hickey had been transported to Providence Centralia Hospital for a miscarriage.
A doctor had determined she had given birth naturally.
Hickey told detectives she placed the body under the sink because she didn’t want it found, court documents state.
Court documents state that in a later interview, Hickey told detectives she had used methamphetamine two days before the birth and had not slept since using the drug.
The maximum sentence for first-degree murder is life imprisonment.