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Northland homicide suspect to get second mental health evaluation

The suspect in a fatal stabbing on the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation will undergo a second mental health evaluation before her case proceeds. A psychologist previously determined that 21-year-old Lydia Marie Barney was incompetent to stand trial...

The suspect in a fatal stabbing on the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation will undergo a second mental health evaluation before her case proceeds.

A psychologist previously determined that 21-year-old Lydia Marie Barney was incompetent to stand trial, but the results of that evaluation were scrutinized by a prosecutor in court last week.

Barney is charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of her aunt, 31-year-old Waubunoquay Dawn Randall, on Oct. 19 in Stoney Brook Township.

The first evaluation, conducted by Dr. Ryan Goldenstein in a two-hour interview at the St. Louis County Jail, was deemed incomplete by Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Jessica Fralich, who asked for a new evaluation at a hearing last week.

The report is not public, but attorneys said at the hearing that it contained indications that Barney has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is said to hinder her ability to participate in her own defense.

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Fralich complained that Goldenstein's report did not contain sufficient basis to find Barney incompetent and to initiate civil commitment proceedings. The evaluation was ended prematurely by Barney.

Defense attorney Nichole Carter opposed the prosecution's request for a second evaluation, saying there is no legal basis for it. She sought to have Barney committed so that she could receive treatment.

In an order released this week, Sixth Judicial District Judge Sally Tarnowski instructed Goldenstein to complete a second evaluation. In addition to determining Barney's competency, the order also asks the psychologist to determine whether she meets the criteria for a civil commitment.

"Because (Barney) terminated the evaluation early, the evaluator was not able to provide certain diagnoses, rather he could only provide 'provisional' diagnoses because of a lack of complete and proper testing," Tarnowski said.

Proceedings in the case will remain suspended while Barney undergoes the evaluation, which must be completed within 60 days.

Related Topics: CRIME
Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or tolsen@duluthnews.com.
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