July 30, 2014

Elyria
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64°F
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Teen who murdered father to get psychiatric treatment


PITTSBURGH (AP) — A 13-year-old girl accused of fatally shooting her father, allegedly after years of sexual abuse, will be moved to a psychiatric hospital for treatment under a judge’s orders on Thursday.

The girl has told investigators she used a 12-gauge shotgun to shoot Matthew Booth of Elizabeth Township in the face. Booth, 34, died early Monday.

The girl’s attorney Patrick Nightingale said she shot her father after years of sexual abuse. The Associated Press does not identify victims of possible sexual abuse.

Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning initially ordered the girl sent to a juvenile detention center, but changed his instructions after hearing from a psychiatrist.

Dr. Christine Martone, a psychiatrist, told Manning she interviewed the girl on Thursday and found she suffers from an unspecified mood disorder.

“Her judgment is severely impaired,” Martone said. “She was angry and verbally abusive.”

The girl was being held in the county jail in a medical unit away from the general population. She will be moved to the psychiatric hospital after a hearing on Friday.

The girl is charged as an adult with criminal homicide. But Nightingale said he plans to waive Friday’s preliminary hearing and then petition the court to have her tried as a juvenile.

Nightingale said he plans to argue that the shooting was justified under a 1989 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in which a Pittsburgh police officer was awarded a new trial for shooting her abusive boyfriend. The officer was acquitted at a new trial using the battered woman defense in 1990.