Woman who allegedly kidnapped boy in Atascadero is still incompetent to stand trial

ppemberton@thetribunenews.comJune 19, 2013 

Annette Hale, 52, was arrested Friday, Aug. 5, 2011, on suspicion of felony kidnapping. Original story »

A woman accused of kidnapping a 4-year-old boy in Atascadero is still incompetent to stand trial nearly two years after the alleged crime was committed, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Annette Hale, 54, was initially sent to Patton State Hospital near Riverside in the fall of 2011. A month earlier, she had kidnapped a 4-year-old boy from the El Camino Homeless Organization shelter. After a 12-hour search, the boy was discovered at a vacant car lot and returned to his mother. When Hale appeared in court on a kidnapping charge, she said she was a CIA agent, who was trying to protect the child from his mother.

Hale’s daughter has told the Tribune her mother has been mentally ill for 20 years. Meanwhile, two psychiatric experts said Hale wasn’t fit for trial in 2011.

After two years of treatment, Hale is still unable to assist her defense, Superior Court Judge Ginger Garrett ruled Wednesday. She was also declared unfit for outpatient treatment. As a result, her criminal case remains suspended, and she will return to Patton for further treatment.

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