July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Mother deemed fit to stand trial

MEDINA — A Medina County judge has found a mother accused of trying to smother her 6-year-old son is competent to stand trial.

Terry J. Boyle, 32, of Medina, is scheduled for a jury trial in February in Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier’s courtroom.

Terry Boyle

Boyle was arrested after her counselor at Alternative Paths, a behavioral health-care clinic in Medina, called police July 18 to say Boyle said she felt “homicidal” toward her son, according to police reports.

In a court filing Monday, Dr. Arcangela Wood from the Akron Psycho-Diagnostic Clinic testified that Boyle was competent, sane and able to stand trial.

“The defendant does not agree with a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity and that the defendant is capable of making that decision and is capable of cooperating with her attorney and her defense,” Wood said, according to the court document.

Collier took over the case after Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler recused himself in September after an online petition titled “Justice for Terry Boyle” on Change.org gathered more than 80 signatures. The petition was set up by Boyle and her family and they had directed all the signatures on the petition be sent directly to Kimbler.

“If you think people signing a petition on some website you created will influence me,” Kimbler told Boyle at her arraignment, “you are sadly mistaken.”

He said that kind of communication could be considered “ex parte,” an improper legal proceeding where one party speaks to a judge about a case without the other parties present.

“I’m confident I could remain impartial,” Kimbler said, “but I’m not taking the chance that my integrity or that of this court could be questioned.”

In the petition, Boyle said she wrongly was accused of attempting to murder and feloniously assaulting of her son.

“I have never been in trouble and I sure the heck am not going to harm my kids,” Boyle wrote.

If convicted, Boyle could face 11 or more years in prison.

On the petition, Boyle said she put a couch pillow over her son’s head “for a split second” earlier that day to stop him from fighting with his 4-year-old sister.

After her arrest, police took Boyle to Medina Hospital where she underwent a psychological evaluation. Boyle said police illegally questioned her because she was on prescription medications that “mess with her mind.”

Boyle is free on 10 percent of a $500,000 bond. Her trial is set for 1 p.m. Feb. 18.

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