State will not dismiss charges against Angelina County capital m - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

State will not dismiss charges against Angelina County capital murder suspect

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source;: KTRE Staff Source;: KTRE Staff
Billie Jean Cuttler (Source: Angelina County Jail) Billie Jean Cuttler (Source: Angelina County Jail)

Despite an Angelina County jury’s ruling that a Louisiana woman is not mentally competent to stand trial for capital murder in connection to the 2015 death of her 3-year-old nephew, Mason, the state will not dismiss the charges against her.

The judge in the case also chose not to set a bail amount for her.

Billie Jean Cuttler, 20, appeared in Judge Paul White’s 159th Judicial District Court Tuesday for a hearing in which her defense attorney requested that a bail amount be set for her.

Prosecutor April Perez said the state wants to send Cuttler to a facility because a bond would let her out. She also asked if Cuttler is incompetent to understand legal proceedings, how could she understand the conditions of a bond?

Al Charanza, Cuttler’s defense attorney said he believes Cuttler should get bail because she is only 20, and she has no prior criminal history.

“What we heard in court was about Billie Jean,” Charanza argued in court. “We only heard Billie’s side. It’s my position that she never knew what happened until after Bobby Woods Jr. told her.”

Charanza also said that Woods has not been put on trial yet. He added that if Woods told Cuttler these things, she did not have the mental capacity to understand what was being said.

“Billie Jean should be out of jail at least until Bobby Woods’ trial takes place,” Charanza said. “When you get to the facts, she is only a party. There will need to be evidence to show she participated in the act.”

White said he wasn’t going to reduce Cuttler’s bail because she is mentally incompetent. He said she wouldn’t know what she was doing if she committed some other crime.

In addition, the judge said that Cuttler’s trial was specifically to determine her competency. There was no evidence presented to show that she did or didn’t do the crime, White said.

A hearing is scheduled for the week of August 29 to determine if Cuttler will be sent for a civil commitment.

On Aug. 3, an Angelina County jury decided that Cuttler is not fit to stand trial after deliberating six-and-a-half hours. They heard testimony from mental health experts, law enforcement officers, and correctional officers.

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