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Competency evaluation ordered for woman accused in murder of infant

A court on Wednesday ordered a competency evaluation for the woman accused of stabbing her 10-week-old daughter to death Sept. 15 at her Town of Oconomowoc home.


Wearing a red prison suit and shackled at the hands, Dana M. Hooper, 32, appeared in court on Wednesday along with her attorneys, who requested that she undergo the evaluation. She was charged Sept. 18 with first-degree intentional homicide after police found her infant daughter dead in her home on Lisbon Road in the Town of Oconomowoc. Her husband, Kevin, 33, faces his own felony charge for allegedly failing to report the death of the child.


At her initial court appearance, prosecutors suggested that Dana Hooper may have been suffering from mental illness at the time of the murder, specifically postpartum depression. Her attorneys sounded a similar tone after Wednesday’s hearing.


“We believe this was caused by postpartum psychosis exacerbated by anti-psychotic drugs prescribed by an OB/GYN,” defense attorney Ryan Harrington said after the hearing.


The court scheduled Hooper for a review hearing on Oct. 22, after she completes the evaluation with Dr. Debra Collins of the Milwaukee Forensic Unit.


According to the criminal complaint, Hooper told investigators that she heard voices in her head telling her to kill her baby.


“I’m going to tell you the truth. I thought they were spiritual warfare at our house. Voices in my head, God’s voice, told me to kill my baby because it was satanic,” she was quoted as saying in the complaint.
 

She allegedly told hospital staff the day of the killing that the voices stopped as soon as she killed her 2-month old daughter.


Officers found the lifeless infant wrapped in a blanket inside a laundry basket in a Pack ‘N Play toy when they arrived at the Hooper home on Sept. 15. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene, and a subsequent autopsy revealed that the baby had died as a result of a large number of stab wounds to the chest and torso area. Hooper later told police that she stabbed the baby approximately six or seven times.


The mother of three stated that she did not feel like it was her stabbing the baby and thought that maybe she was possessed.


Neither she nor her husband called an ambulance after the baby’s stabbing. Instead they went to the hospital to check her in for psychiatric help.


The original call to 9-1-1 came from Rogers Memorial Hospital, where Dana Hooper had checked in earlier in the afternoon, based on a report that she was suicidal. After speaking with hospital staff, she revealed that she had killed her baby and that no one had yet alerted authorities, the complaint alleged.


Hospital staff alerted authorities, who arrived at the murder scene at 5:50 p.m., hours after Hooper allegedly stabbed the child.


When police arrived at the home at W353 N5950 Lisbon Road, they were greeted by Kevin Hooper who led them to the grizzly discovery. He was charged for failing to report the death of the child. A preliminary hearing in his case is scheduled for Oct. 18.

 

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