Woman accused in Atascadero kidnapping will be treated at state hospital

Annette Hale
Annette Hale

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.