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YOUNGSTOWN Doctor asks for change in woman's privileges



Published: Tue, August 13, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Boardman woman wants to take weekend trips away from the hospital with her family.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Mary E. Moore knows she killed her daughter but isn't ready to talk about it in detail with her psychiatrist.

"I feel the amount of guilt would be too much for her to tolerate at this point," said Dr. Roy Vellanki of Heartland Behavioral Center, Massillon.

But Vellanki does believe that Moore is stable enough to leave the psychiatric hospital on her own for the first time since being admitted there some three years ago.

He's asking a judge to allow Moore to take short, unsupervised trips away from the hospital. A hearing on the matter was Monday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Judge Robert Lisotto took the matter under advisement and said he'll make a decision by the end of the week.

Moore, 39, was committed to the psychiatric hospital in 1999 after being found innocent by reason of insanity in the killing of her daughter, Stephanie. The girl was drowned in the bathtub of the family's Boardman home in January 1998, the night before she would have turned 7.

Moore, wearing handcuffs and leg shackles, sat with her hands folded across her lap throughout the hearing. She did not speak, and her face remained without expression.

Current security level

Moore is allowed to leave the hospital grounds with staff members and for up to four hours at a time for reasons such as shopping trips or going to a museum or restaurant.

Vellanki said she's progressed to the point that she can leave the grounds on a temporary pass with family members and without staff members. She would not pose threat to herself or others if she's granted that privilege, he said.

Moore's lawyer, John Dixon, agreed that she still needs to be hospitalized but asked that the change be approved. The change can't be made without the judge's consent.

Moore's face reddened when Assistant Prosecutor Robert Andrews asked Vellanki whether she is stable enough to withstand comments or criticism from people who resent what she did. Vellanki said she should be able to endure such comments.

Andrews said he's opposed to the change in security levels and asked Judge Lisotto to deny the request.

Moore's former husband, Dennis Moore, was in the courtroom for the hearing. He glared at his ex-wife during most of the hearing but did not speak.

Afterward, Dennis Moore's attorney, J. Gerald Ingram, said Moore is vehemently opposed to the change in security levels but declined to comment further.

bjackson@vindy.com




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