Deanna Laney Appears in Pre-Trial Hearing - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/14/03 - Tyler

Deanna Laney Appears in Pre-Trial Hearing

Laney made her first court appearance Friday morning in more than six months. Judge Cynthia Kent had intended to hear several important motions today, but instead much of the pre-trial work will be done a month from now.

In the meantime, the state will decide whether to seek the death penalty, while Laney's attorney is considering an insanity defense.

"We're already beyond the court's order for written request for leave to extend the courts order," said Judge Cynthia Stevens Kent.

The deadline for the state to decide whether to put Dee Laney on trial for her life has come and gone. Interim District Attorney Matt Bingham says he needs to hear from more experts on Laney's mental state.

When she admitted to killing two of her sons -- critically injuring a third -- she told police she had to.  The sheriff told reporters "God made her do it".

Going for the death penalty depends on whether she knew right from wrong.

Interim Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham: "As customary, we always consult extensively with our mental health experts, along with other considerations that we always consider, and we're going to have to do that before we're going to make that decision."

Defense attorney Buck Files mentioned a possible insanity defense, though the decision on whether to go forward hinges on the state's move. Judge Kent said little could be decided today.

"I'm not going to rule on motions that are not engaged at this time. The motions dealing with constitutionality of the death penalty and issues with individual voir dire are irrelevant to the court unless the state has made notice."

The next hearing is December 19th.

 

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