Judge defers ruling on need for psychiatrist

AKRON -- Donna Moonda's attorneys have about a month to convince a judge why a psychiatrist is necessary for her defense.
The 47-year-old Hermitage woman accused in the death of her husband, Dr. Gulam Moonda, has asked for a court-appointed psychiatrist, but U.S. Judge David Dowd questioned the necessity of having one.
Judge Dowd, in a brief filed this week, said Moonda has not entered an innocent plea based on her mental condition. The judge did approve hiring two additional attorneys, a private detective and a mitigation specialist for her defense. She could face the death penalty if convicted in Dr. Moonda's shooting death May 13, 2005, on the Ohio Turnpike. Briefs on the matter are due by Nov. 28.
Her defense team became court-appointed after prosecutors decided to seek the death penalty.

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