Woman accused in Atascadero kidnapping will be treated at state hospital

Criminal proceedings suspended while woman is treated for mental health issues

nwilson@thetribunenews.comSeptember 14, 2011 

The woman accused of kidnapping a 4-year-old boy in Atascadero last month will be treated for mental health issues at Patton State Hospital near Riverside, a San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge ruled today.

Judge Teresa Estrada-Mullaney ruled that Annette Hale will receive treatment at Patton because she wasn’t able to assist in her own defense or understand the court proceedings in her case.

Criminal proceedings against her have been suspended until Hale might be found fit to stand trial.

Hale, 52, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping the boy at an Atascadero homeless shelter Aug. 5 and keeping him in a vacant car dealership for most of the day while authorities and volunteers coordinated a search for him.

After her arrest, Hale told a judge in a video conference from County Jail that she was a CIA agent who was trying to protect the boy from his mother, because she wasn’t his real mother.

Hale was examined by two doctors — David Fennell and Carolyn Murphy — who determined she wasn’t fit to stand trial.

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service