Schizophrenic found competent to stand trial in fatal hit-and-run

Although Sheldene Campbell has schizophrenia and hears voices telling her she will win her criminal case, two psychologists testified today that she is competent to stand trial in a hit-and-run rampage two years ago in White Plains.

Westchester County Judge Barbara Zambelli agreed that Campbell (above) was stable enough to face felony murder and assault charges in the back-to-back collisions that killed 65-year-old Marie Bucci and injured 46-year-old Roseanne Schiavone.

Campbell, 38, is accused of intentionally striking and killing Bucci as she walked through her Haviland Lane neighborhood on Oct. 19, 2008. The deadly encounter came moments after Campbell allegedly hit Schiavone as she walked her dog on the same road.

At today’s hearing, Campbell’s lawyer, Alan Brenner, questioned his client’s ability to aid in her own defense. Not only does Campbell hear voices from God telling her she’ll be acquitted, he said, but also noted that the stress of a trial could worsen her mental condition, despite the medication she takes.

Psychologists Ann Fenichel and Thomas Kucharski, who examined Campbell in May, said they interviewed her again a few days ago and concluded for a second time that she understands her legal options and would listen her attorney regarding how to proceed with the case.

“The voices are not interfering with her ability to make rational decisions,” Kucharski said.

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Rebecca Baker

Rebecca Baker joined The Journal News in March 2004. She covers Eastchester, Bronxville and Tuckahoe, and was previously the state and county courts reporter in Westchester County. In prior jobs, she covered the Town of Greenburgh and Rockland County government and politics. Before coming to The Journal News, she was a municipal reporter for newspapers in New Haven, Conn. and Warren, Ohio.