Woman accused of abducting boy from homeless shelter is still unfit for trial

ppemberton@thetribunenews.comMarch 14, 2014 

Annette Hale

Two and a half years after she was declared incompetent, a woman accused of kidnapping a boy at a homeless shelter is still not fit to stand trial, a court reported Friday.

Annette Hale, 55, was arrested in August 2011 on suspicion of abducting a 4-year-old boy from an Atascadero homeless shelter.

Hale, who had been staying at the shelter, reportedly left a note on a pillow belonging to the boy’s mother that read, “If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Christ was raised from the dead, you shall be saved.”

More than 100 volunteers and law enforcement officers searched the area, and the boy was found unharmed at a vacant car dealership. Hale, who was seen walking away from the dealership, was arrested later.

In court, Hale said she was a CIA agent trying to protect the boy, saying the boy’s mother wasn’t really his mother.

Hale was declared incompetent to stand trial the next month. Her daughter told The Tribune her mother has been delusional for 20 years.

Once a defendant is declared incompetent to stand trial, they are sent to a state hospital for treatment. In California, it typically takes about six months for competency to be restored, according to the state’s legislative analyst.

The court will be updated on Hale’s status on May 14. If she is declared competent, her criminal case will resume.

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