Mental evaluation is ordered in Arizona Memorial theft case
A federal magistrate judge ordered a mental evaluation yesterday of a woman accused of stealing $170,000 from the Arizona Memorial Museum Association in 2005.
Fe Nakahara is charged with one count of larceny for allegedly stealing while on federal property from May through August 2005, and a second count of theft of government property for allegedly taking more than $1,000 from the federal government during the same period.
If convicted, Nakahara could face up to five years in prison for theft within a federal special maritime and territorial jurisdiction, and 10 years for theft of public funds.
Assistant federal public defender Shanlyn Park, representing Nakahara, said in court documents that she had requested the motion to determine Nakahara's competency to understand the proceedings against her, and to determine whether she was insane at the time of her alleged offense.
Park said she had learned Nakahara had been treated for mental illness and had commanding auditory hallucinations.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren ordered Nakahara to undergo a full evaluation to help determine whether she is competent to stand trial.
More than a dozen friends or family members hugged a tearful Nakahara in court yesterday before authorities led her off.
A status conference has been set for 10 a.m. March 1 with U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Kobayashi to confirm the medical evaluation's progress.