The woman accused of repeatedly stabbing an Asian American teenager in the head earlier this month has been suffering from “severe mental illness,” according to her lawyer.
The incident took place on a Bloomington Transit bus at the intersection of West Fourth Street and the B-Line Trail at around 4:45 p.m. on Jan. 11, according to reports. Billie R. Davis, 56, was arrested shortly after fleeing the scene.
The victim, an 18-year-old Indiana University student, was about to exit the bus when Davis reportedly got up from a nearby seat and stabbed her seven times in the head with a pocketknife.
The victim was then rushed to a hospital with “blood flowing from her head,” while Davis, who escaped, was reportedly trailed by another passenger who updated authorities on her location.
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Davis told Bloomington police that she targeted the victim for being Chinese, according to court documents. She also allegedly stated that “it would be one less person to blow up our country.”
Davis has since been charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery and battery by means of a deadly weapon. She pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Her defense attorney, Kyle Dugger, said in a recent court filing that he would prove that Davis is “incapable of assisting in the preparation of her defense because of mental illness.”
He also requested for the court to schedule a competency hearing, in which two court-appointed psychiatrists would determine whether Davis was “insane” during the incident and whether she is competent to be tried in court.
In a statement to CNN, Dugger said Davis has “a long history of severe mental illness” and was “seeking help managing her condition up to and including the day of the alleged attack.”
He also warned the public against jumping to conclusions about an individual “based on police claims from a single interview” and advised “even more caution when the interview was taken from a person in custody who may be experiencing psychosis.”
As of Thursday, Davis remained at Monroe County Jail on a $100,000 surety or a $1,000 cash bond, according to WBIW. A pretrial conference has been scheduled for Feb. 16.
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