Ramey’s accused killer ‘lacks fitness to proceed’

Judith Carpenter committed to mental facility, trial postponed

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

Judith Carpenter, the Coeur d’Alene woman accused of shooting and killing 79-year-old Hope resident Shirley Ramey at the Rameys’ Trestle Creek home in April 2017, has been committed to a treatment facility for mental illness, putting all proceedings in the case on hold for the time being.

First District Judge Barbara Buchanan filed an order of commitment Nov. 13, stating that upon review of Carpenter’s mental evaluation, the accused lacks the competency necessary to stand trial at this time.

“The Court finds the Defendant lacks fitness to proceed in that the Defendant is incapable of assisting in the defense of this case; and the Court finds that the Defendant does lack capacity to make informed decisions about treatment,” the order reads, concluding that Carpenter “is dangerously mentally ill” as defined by Idaho Code.

Judith Carpenter booking photo. Courtesy BCSO.

Authorities arrested Carpenter in Coeur d’Alene in August 2019 after connecting bullet casings found at the Ramey home to a handgun confiscated from Carpenter during a road rage incident in Lincoln County, Mont., the same day as the murder in Hope. Montana officers also found a Savage Model 99 rifle in Carpenter’s vehicle — a firearm later determined to be missing from the Ramey residence.

Carpenter plead not guilty to first-degree murder on Jan. 13.

The Nov. 13 order of commitment did not specify what mental illness afflicts Carpenter, but does outline procedures for transferring her into the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction “for care and treatment at an appropriate facility for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days.”

Officials in the facility where Carpenter is bound — also not specified in the order — will perform a mental evaluation and provide progress reports for the court.

“This progress report shall include an opinion as to whether the Defendant is fit to proceed, or if not, whether there is a substantial probability the Defendant will be fit to proceed within the foreseeable future,” Buchanan’s order states.

The order of commitment suspends all proceedings in the case until Carpenter is considered competent. Therefore, the jury trial slated for Dec. 15 has been vacated and no other proceedings are scheduled.

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.