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Psychiatric facility in Indiana will accept teen murder suspect



Published: Sat, June 23, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The girl will be moved in early July.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- After months of searching, officials have found a psychiatric facility that will accept 14-year-old Jackie Colon.

The Indiana facility is "a highly sophisticated institution for the care of children" like Jackie, said Atty. Don L. Hanni Jr., who represented her at a hearing Friday in Mahoning County Juvenile Cou rt.

Jackie will be transferred to Indiana on either July 9 or 10, Hanni said. She has been in the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center since December.

The crime: Jackie is accused of throwing 3-month-old Alex Zalovcik out a second-story window in December, then going outside and stabbing the infant nearly 60 times with two knives. The girl then got on a bus and went to school, where she was arrested later that day.

In March, she was found mentally incompetent to stand trial and Judge Joseph O'Neill ordered her placed into a residential treatment facility. Since then, her lawyers and local mental health officials have scrambled to find a place for her.

The problem, Hanni said, is that Ohio does not have a state-run facility to care for its mentally ill residents. That's why officials had to expand the search outside the state.

"It's outrageous," Hanni said. "It's a damn shame."

The girl will be evaluated in a year to see whether she has been restored to competency to stand trial.

Hanni said it will cost $129,000 a year to house Jackie in the facility. The cost will be shared by the state, Jackie's mother and a local "cluster" group of mental health and social service agencies.

bjackson@vindy.com




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