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Dead father visits her in jail, woman says

| Saturday, May 5, 2012, 1:33 a.m.

A woman accused of stabbing her father to death in 2004 told a psychologist during an evaluation that the dead man regularly visits her at the Fayette County Prison.

Kim Lee Straughters' visual hallucinations of Robert E. Davis, her intellectual impairment and her inability to distinguish between right and wrong actions are conditions that render her incompetent to stand trial for his murder without the stabilization of her psychoses, Uniontown psychologist Dr. Adam Sedlock Jr. said Tuesday.

State police at Uniontown allege Straughters, 30, of Hempfield Township, stabbed 53-year-old Davis three times in the neck at his North Union Township home after an argument about money on May 7, 2004.

Two of Davis' siblings, who were at the home that morning, testified at a 2004 preliminary hearing that Straughters told her dying victim, "I killed you, Daddy."

When Sedlock met with Straughters on Nov. 11, 2005, for a psychological evaluation, she named Davis as one of her frequent visitors.

"She did say to me that her father comes to visit on a regular basis, and she did tell me later in the evaluation that she killed her father," Sedlock testified yesterday during a competency hearing.

Testing showed that Straughters, a graduate of Jeannette Senior High School, has an IQ between 65 and 70 and functions in the mild range of mental retardation, Sedlock said. Among her conditions are post-traumatic stress disorder and an antisocial personality disorder.

A person with Straughters' intellectual functioning level is incapable of managing her own funds, distinguishing between right and wrong behaviors and keeping scheduled appointments without daily assistance, Sedlock said. Her intellectual capacity at the time of Davis' death would have been the same as during the November evaluation, he said.

Straughters broke into tears and was unable to talk about allegations that Davis had abused her during her childhood, the psychologist added.

Straughters sobbed during some of Sedlock's testimony yesterday, but District Attorney Nancy Vernon said she didn't notice any tears. Sedlock said such an action would indicate that someone is distraught and might be crying as a relief mechanism.

Judge Steve P. Leskinen continued the hearing so Vernon may receive an independent evaluation of Straughters from Mayview State Hospital, near Bridgeville, Allegheny County.

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