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Attorney seeks competency hearing in scalding water death

Updated Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009 | 2:11 p.m.

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Jackie Wilridge

An attorney for a woman arrested Tuesday for allegedly killing another woman by scalding her with a pot of boiling water told a court today his client suffers from mental disorders and requested a competency hearing.

Jackie Wilridge, 49, is being held without bail in the Clark County Detention Center. She is charged with murder with use of a deadly weapon in connection with a July 3 incident at an apartment in the 2200 block of Concord Avenue, which is near the intersection of North Martin Luther King and West Lake Mead boulevards.

Donn Ianuzi, Wilridge's lawyer, told the court Wilridge suffers from schizophrenia and other disorders. She will appear in court again on Sept. 24 for a competency hearing on the orders of Judge Pro Tem Eugene Martin.

According to an arrest report, Wilridge and several others were smoking crack cocaine at a friend’s apartment. At about noon that day, Patricia James made known to the group that she possessed a large amount of money. At about 8 p.m., Wilridge and two other women attacked James and took between $2,000 and $3,000 in cash from her, the report says.

James remained in the apartment for several hours and argued with Wilridge about the incident, witnesses told police. After several hours of arguing, Wilridge boiled a pot of water and threw it on James, causing burns to about 15 percent of her body, the report said.

Two days later, James was taken to University Medical Center for her injuries. She died July 7.

The Clark County Coroner's Office listed three causes of death. In order, they were: Pulmonary thrombosis, or a blood clot in the lung; immobility in convalescence; and thermal, from scalding. The coroner ruled her death homicide.

When police interviewed the woman who lives at the apartment, she told them she saw Wilridge throw the water onto James. She also told them she saw the skin on James’ arms fall off and knew James had been severely burned.

Several witnesses told police that after Wilridge threw the water, she left the apartment, according to the report.

Police interviewed Wilridge on July 24 with her attorney present. She told police she had been at her daughter’s house all weekend and denied being at the apartment the day James was burned.

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