Captain America actor Mollie Fitzgerald has been found incompetent to stand trial in the case of her mother’s killing.
Fitzgerald was charged with second-degree murder in January of this year after being accused of fatally stabbing her 68-year-old mother, Patricia “Tee” Fitzgerald, just days before Christmas.
The mother was found dead on December 20 at her home in Olathe, Kansas, and following her arrest Fitzgerald claimed she had killed her mother in self-defence.
The actor, who has also worked as a director and producer, told police she stabbed her mother after she started coming after her with a knife.
According to a criminal affidavit cited by TMZ, Fitzgerald claimed she tried to disarm her mother before the pair got caught in a struggle that ended with Fitzgerald stabbing her mother four times in the back. Police found the 68-year-old dead with the knife still in her back.
In spite of the actor’s claims, the Medical Examiner reportedly ‘did not find any injuries consistent with Patricia having delivered any strikes or having been in control of the involved knife’, prompting police to determine Fitzgerald was the aggressor.
Fitzgerald was due to stand trial for the crime, but court records show she was ruled not competent to appear.
Her attorney, Jason Billam, told TMZ the ruling came off the back of reports from three mental health doctors, two of which concluded Fitzgerald did not have the ability to assist her attorney in providing a defence and that she did not understand what is happening to her.
Billam claimed Fitzgerald did understand that she has been charged with the murder of her mother, and understands the roles of her attorney, prosecutors and the judge, though she gets confused about how the overall judicial process works.
In the wake of the ruling, Fitzgerald will return to a state mental hospital, where she will undergo treatment.
The trial is said to be on hold for the time being, with Fitzgerald set to have her mental state reviewed every 90 days to assess whether she can regain competency to stand trial.
Throughout her career in the film industry, Fitzgerald has mostly worked on low-budget films including The Lawful Truth in 2014 and The Creeps in 2017, though she appeared in the 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger as Stark Girl as well as working as an assistant to the director, Joe Johnson.
After working on the film, Fitzgerald told a comic book publication that being part of Captain America was ‘one of the best experiences’ of her life.
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone
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