Paragraph eleven reads: "Phillips' attorney Peter Herberg argued Phillips has shown emotional problems for 17 years. He said she used Prozac years before Gary Triano was murdered and that she was taking an anti psychotic drug when she was arrested in Europe. He also said she spent time with a mystical group in India."
Phillips ruled competent to stand trial
Posted: Mar 7, 2011 4:32 PM
Updated: Mar 7, 2011 5:52 PM
TUCSON – A woman accused of plotting the murder of her ex-husband is ruled competent to stand trial.
Pamela Phillips faces charges of conspiracy and first degree murder in the death of Gary Triano.
Triano died in a car bomb explosion in November 1996 at La Paloma Country Club. Investigators believe Phillips hired Ronald Young to kill Triano in order to claim a $2 million life insurance payoff.
Young was convicted last March and sentenced to life behind bars.
In Judge Richard Fields' courtroom on Monday, the issue was not Pam Phillips' guilt or innocence.
It was her mental competency to stand trial.
Phillips' attorney wants her to undergo a more complete mental evaluation.
But Pima County Superior Court Judge Fields listened to both sides then ruled Phillips' does not need more examination. Fields said, "I find that there is no doubt whatsoever that she is competent to stand trial."
The judge based his decision partly on a preliminary mental health evaluation of Phillips.
Forensic Psychiatrist Brad Johnson, who did the preliminary evaluation, testified, "She talked about feelings of exploding and imploding inside her body. She talked about radio chips causing her ears to burn or to ring. She talked about how some how, someone else was running her body."
But Johnson said, "It seemed very exaggerated, very dramatized, much more than what we'd generally see with a person who has true delusional problems."
Phillips' attorney Peter Herberg argued Phillips has shown emotional problems for 17 years. He said she used Prozac years before Gary Triano was murdered and that she was taking an anti psychotic drug when she was arrested in Europe. He also said she spent time with a mystical group in India.
Herberg said, "There are those that believe that particular group is a potentially dangerous cult that brainwashes people."
Herberg said he and his staff have problems communicating with Phillips.
Herberg promised to make Phillips' mental state an issue throughout her trail.
Still, the judge ruled, "There is not one iota of medical evidence that would support a further evaluation."
Phillips' trial is set to start 10 months from now in January 2012.