More mental health treatment was ordered by the court in the case of a Chickasha mom who tried to kill herself and children at a Chickasha motel last year.
Rebecca Lynn Koehler appeared in Grady County District Court Friday for what initially was listed in court documents as a plea in the child abuse by injury charge.
Dressed in a green jail jumpsuit and handcuffed, Koehler sat quietly in the courtroom as her attorney met with District Judge Richard Van Dyck in his chamber.
“Her attorney doesn’t believe she can contribute to her own defense,” said Grady County First District Attorney James Walters.
The defense and state doesn’t believe she was mentally competent at the time she committed the crime, he said.
In early March 2011, Koehler checked into a local motel, left a suicide note and told her two children, ages six and nine at the time, that if they ingested the pills she was giving them then “the three of them would be together forever.”
Court records show that Koehler and her ex-spouse had a lengthy court battle over visitation rights with the children. They were divorced in 2006.
An arrest affidavit filed by Officer Gillian Rainey said that she was dispatched March 2 to Grady Memorial Hospital and was told by hospital personnel that the three had been brought to the hospital by ambulance on a complaint of a possible drug overdose.
Rainey spoke with the nine-year-old boy who said that his mother had given him and his sister five orange or yellow oval pills and told them that if they ingested the pills then the three of them would “be together forever.”
He also saw his mother ingest some pills. Records show that it was when he saw his mother stumbling around and fall down that he called for help.
The officer also reported that she obtained what appeared to be a suicide note found by hotel staff following her transport by EMS to the hospital. Records show that the note stated, “I’m so tired of living,” and “the only true escape is death.”
Koehler told Rainey that she had been contemplating killing both herself and her children for at least a few months, but that it had taken her a “year to do it.”
She said she felt it was the only way to keep both herself and her children safe from her ex-husband who resides in Texas.
Records show that an application to determine her mental competency was filed last March and she was assigned a court-appointed attorney.
Koehler was initially charged with one felony count of child abuse by injury, but the information was amended in March 2011 to two counts.
Court documents filed Friday state that Koehler is a mentally ill person as defined in Oklahoma Statute Title 43, Section 1-103 and that it appears she was suffering from the mental illness at the time the offenses were committed.
Records show that the court specifically finds that the defendant is presently dangerous to the public peace or safety and may also pose a danger to herself if said defendant is not in a supervised setting with continued medication and supervision.
She should not be discharged from custody, documents stated.
The court ordered that Koehler be transported to Eastern State Hospital in Vinita, the state hospital for the mentally ill.
Examination reports are to be submitted to the court within 35 days, records show.