The Racine woman who allegedly allowed her disabled son to die will stay in a mental health institute a little longer

Racine — the woman facing criminal charges over allegations that she allowed her disabled adult son to die on the floor after a fall — will remain at the Mendota Institute of Mental Health for the time being.

Cheryl Christensen, 63, has been charged with negligent endangerment for abuse/causing death after her son was found dead on the bathroom floor on October 28, 2020.

The 46-year-old suffered traumatic brain injury and physical injuries after being hit by a car when he was 14 years old. Christensen acted as his caregiver.

Proceedings in the case were suspended on October 3, 2020 after a hearing in which Judge Eugene Jasurkiewicz determined that the defendant was not fit to stand trial.

This is the second time during the proceedings that the accused has been found unfit to stand trial.

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A review hearing was held Monday in the Racine County Circuit Court.

The defendant was supposed to participate in the Zoom hearing, but a representative of MMHI informed Christensen of the court’s refusal to attend the hearing, which proceeded without it.

Gasiorkiewicz read the report from the MMHI, which noted that the defendant continued to have delusions and disordered thought and believed she was being persecuted by others, including court officers.

The judge determined that Christensen lacked the ability to understand the proceedings or to participate in her defence, rendering her ineligible to stand trial.

A verdict not fit to stand trial differs from a verdict not guilty by reason of mental defect, in that the defendant’s mental state at the time of the offense is closely examined, as is his ability to distinguish between right and wrong.

Reports from Mendota’s doctors indicate that Christensen will once again be eligible for treatment.

Case history

Officers from the Racine Police Department responded to the 2600 block of West Crescent Street to conduct a welfare check for the accused’s 46-year-old son after his relatives became concerned about his safety and contacted authorities.

When the police arrived at Christensen’s home, they found that she had been trying to lock the door.

After entering the house, they find Christensen’s son dead on the bathroom floor, covered in a blanket.

The defendant allegedly told the police that her son had fallen out of bed several days earlier. He was screaming in pain and you thought he had a broken bone.

She couldn’t get him back in his wheelchair, so she dragged him to the bathroom, and gave him pills to help with the pain.

Christensen told police she provided the victim with water and juice for four days before claiming he began refusing to eat.

Christensen allegedly told investigators that she did not seek help because she did not want her son to die in the hospital; She wanted him to die peacefully at home.

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