Murder defendant in Zimmerman case to receive mental evaluation

Murder defendant to get mental evaluation

EL CENTRO, Calif. -  

Ion Laurint, the man accused in the murder of local attorney Anne Marie Zimmerman, appeared at El Centro Courthouse on Thursday. He sat, at times, mumbling to himself.
Laurint’s attorney said in court his client is not competent to stand trial and wants a psychological evaluation for him.
The District Attorney’s Office said they’re ready to go to trial, but Laurint has a right to an evaluation to make sure he understands his rights and what he’s accused of.
The court appointed Imperial County Behavioral Health to make the evaluation. The results will be presented in court next month.
Laurint sat in court most of the time with head bowed listening to his Spanish translator.
Laurint was found allegedly unconscious with Zimmerman in a local motel on February of last year. Zimmerman was dead with 14 stab wounds on her body. Laurint claims to have no memory of how Zimmerman died.
The district attorney’s office said they want to make sure Laurint gets a fair trial.
Assistant District Attorney Deborah D. Owens said, “Due process demands that individuals have a fair proceeding, which means that they understand what’s going on. So, if by some reason he has – and I’m not saying he has – but, if he does have a mental issue which is somehow interfering with his ability to understand, then he cannot be forced to go to trial.”
Ion Laurint is scheduled back in court on April 25th to find out if the court considers him competent enough to face trial.

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