The attorney representing a Fairview Township woman accused of cutting her 2-year-old son's neck before attempting suicide earlier this year said his client will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Candis Bradshaw, 37, of Foxfire Lane, remains in York County Prison on $200,000 bail, charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and child endangerment.
Fairview Township Police allege Bradshaw made two cuts on her son's neck, each several inches long, then stabbed herself in the chest inside their home sometime before 8:30 a.m. Jan. 17.
Bradshaw appeared in court Thursday for a pretrial conference, where Craig Penglase, her Bucks County-based attorney, asked the presiding judge for a continuance to give him time to set up a psychiatric evaluation.
Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner rescheduled the pretrial conference for Aug. 21.
Suicide attempts: Penglase said he believes Bradshaw suffered a psychotic break from reality, and that Bradshaw has had at least two prior suicide attempts before the incident for which she is charged.
On Thursday, Penglase told The York Dispatch he has filed a notice with the court that he intends to present a defense of insanity.
That notice was filed May 27, according to court records, as was Penglase's notice of intent to call an expert witness in the case.
"She was laboring under serious mental-health problems at the time — the extent to which I'm interested to see," he said of Bradshaw.
After her son was born, Bradshaw sought and received extensive treatment for postpartum depression, according to Penglase, including being hospitalized a number of times and taking medication.
Prison treatment: Bradshaw is receiving help in county prison for her mental-health issues, according to her attorney.
"She has been treated. She has been medicated," he said. "They're doing a pretty good job."
Penglase said he has so far compiled about 3,000 pages of medical records related to Bradshaw's mental-health history prior to the day of the incident.
"We have a more-than-adequate foundation for a mental (infirmity) defense," he said. "But obviously I have to wait for the experts to say that."
Dr. John Shanken-Kaye of Doylestown will conduct Bradshaw's evaluation, Penglase said.
'Bad decision': While being treated by emergency medical technicians at the scene, Bradshaw said, "I made a bad decision" and "my husband will never forgive me," charging documents state.
She also admitted to injuring her son, police said, and told her child's baby sitter that "she was going away for a long time."
Mother and son were flown to Hershey Medical Center by medical helicopter; the boy was released to his father a day or two later, police have said.
Bradshaw was subsequently transferred from the hospital to Philhaven mental-health facility and later arrested.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.