Nappanee woman charged with murder to undergo competency exam

(Photo supplied/Kosciusko County Jail)

The Nappanee woman facing murder charges in a fatal December stabbing will undergo a competency exam in attempt to provide an insanity defense.

Vickie Louise Wooldridge, 44, of 19 M Dee Acres, Nappanee, was arrested after a two-hour manhunt Dec. 15 following a stabbing at 2501 Westside Drive, Warsaw.

The stabbing left Matthew Lucas, 42, dead at the scene from multiple stab wounds to the neck, face and chest. Wooldridge also is accused of stabbing William Burr, Lucas’ stepfather, who was home at the time, in the chest. Burr was critically injured and airlifted to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne for emergency treatment.

Also home at the time of the incident was Diane Burr, Lucas’ mother. Wooldridge is accused of attacking Diane and trying to prevent her from calling 911. Diane required medical attention for facial injuries, cuts to her hands and the loss of teeth.

Prosecutors charged Wooldridge with murder, a Level 1 felony; attempted murder, a Level 1 felony; aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony; attempted criminal confinement, a Level 3 felony; and battery while armed with a deadly weapon, a Level 5 felony.

No bond was set, and she has been incarcerated in the county jail since her apprehension.

Anthony A. Churchward, an attorney out of Fort Wayne, was appointed by the court to publicly defend her.

On Feb. 12, Churchward filed a notice of intent to offer a defense of mental disease or defect and asked Kosciusko Circuit Court Judge Mike Reed to appoint medically-trained professionals who have expertise in determining insanity.

On Wednesday, Reed did that and ordered one psychiatrist and one psychologist to be selected from the Otis R. Bowen Center for Human Services Inc. to examine Wooldridge. They are to report to the court whether Wooldridge had the ability at the time of the events alleged in this case to appreciate the wrongfulness of her conduct and whether Wooldridge has the ability to understand the current proceedings and ability to assist her attorney in proceedings to trial.

William has since been released from the hospital. Diane died Dec. 28 due to health reasons. Joint funeral services for Lucas and Diane are planned for a later date through Titus Funeral Home, Warsaw.

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