Warren County woman in child stabbing case found incompetent to stand trial

Credit: Warren County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Warren County Sheriff's Office

A Deerfield Twp. woman accused of stabbing a 3-year-old boy in March was found to be incompetent to stand trial.

Xiaoyan Zhu, 46, appeared in Warren County Common Pleas Court after being ordered to undergo a forensic evaluation at her arraignment last month. She has been indicted on charges of attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, and two counts of felonious assault, a second-degree felony, in connection to the March 4 stabbing of a 3-year-old boy.

That evaluation determined that Zhu was incompetent to stand trial or assist with her defense, according to court documents. On Monday, Judge Donald E. Oda II ordered her to be sent to Summit Behavioral Healthcare in Cincinnati for additional treatment to restore her competency in order to stand trial. A status hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 26

Her attorney, Nicholas Graman, believes Zhu’s mental health deteriorated during her incarceration in the Warren County Jail after her initial mental evaluation following her arrest.

At her arraignment in April, Graman told the court Zhu spent a month in the psych ward at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati and was diagnosed with depression with psychotic features. He told the court that Zhu was the mother of three children with deep ties to the community, a college graduate, and had no prior criminal record.

Graman said Zhu’s doctor also outlined a treatment plan and said Zhu could deteriorate if she continued to be incarcerated. He said the doctor thought she was safe to live in the community with monitoring and requested a reduction in the bond amount. Graman said there was an alternate residence in West Chester Twp. where she could reside if released on bond.

Prosecutors alleged at arraignment that Zhu stabbed the 3-year-old boy nine times with a ceramic knife and that three of the stabs penetrated the boy’s coat with two cutting into his back and one to his neck. In addition, prosecutors said the knife tip remains inside his body near his spine and that it is under evaluation by his doctors.

The incident was reported by Zhu’s daughter during an online classroom session with her teacher, who then called 911.

The boy’s mother said she heard screaming and saw her next door neighbor standing on her driveway and stabbing her son.

Somebody’s just stabbed my son,” the boy’s mother said in a frantic 911 call. “I saw her with a knife standing above my child,” she said.

The woman said her young son was walking around and crying. His back was covered in blood, but initially she said his injuries looked more like scratches.

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