LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County judge denied a request by Billy Jean Cuttler's defense attorney to have her civil commitment hearing ruled unconstitutional Tuesday afternoon.
As a result, of Judge Paul White's decision, a civil commitment hearing will be scheduled for Cutler sometime in early 2017. Attorneys for both the state and the defense think the hearing should only take a day.
The civil commitment hearing will be focused on whether Cuttler should be committed to a maximum-security mental health facility.
Back in early August, an Angelina County jury decided that Cuttler is not mentally competent to stand trial for the 2015 drowning death of her nephew. The jury's decision came after White ordered a second mental health evaluation be done on Cuttler.
Cuttler and Bobby Woods Jr. were both originally charged with capital murder in the death of Mason Cuttler. If Cuttler had been found competent to stand trial, and she had been found guilty, she would have had to serve life in prison without parole.
During Cuttler's competency trial, Dr. Mary Alice Conroy, the director of clinical training at Sam Houston State University, told the jury that she did believe Billie Jean Cuttler was intellectually disabled but did believe she was competent to stand trial.
Conroy said Cuttler appeared to be spontaneous with her answers and willing to talk and was simple in her explanation.
"She made every effort to cooperate with me," Conroy said.
Conroy said one thing that seemed odd was that Cuttler volunteered statements like, "My family says I act like a 2 year old."
According to the arrest affidavit for Woods, ACSO Lt. Brett Maisel and Texas Ranger Steven Rayburn interviewed Woods, who said he took Mason to the pond, pushed him into the water, and watched him as he began to drown. He allegedly turned his back to him, making no attempt to rescue him, despite Mason's cries for help.
The affidavit states Woods said he wanted Mason to die because his girlfriend was pregnant, and he wanted to make room in the home for his unborn child.
However, Al Charanza, told East Texas News she was never pregnant.