A Fairfield woman accused of murdering her infant son will be placed in the custody of the state Department of Health and Human Services for further mental competence review at the request of her attorneys.

The case of Kayla Stewart, 21, will be delayed possibly until the end of June as she undergoes the competence evaluation at the state psychiatric hospital.

Stewart, 21, entered not guilty pleas in March to the charges of murder and manslaughter in connection with the death of her unnamed infant son, whose body police found in a garage in January. Stewart also was ordered to undergo a mental competence evaluation at the March 24 hearing.

John Martin, an attorney for Stewart, said Wednesday that he was not sure whether she was at Riverview yet but that she would be sent there as soon as there was space available.

On April 20 her attorneys filed a motion with the court asking that she be placed in the custody of DHHS at Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta for further observation by the State Forensic Service. In the meantime, no further court appearances have been scheduled.

The request for further observation was made after an initial evaluation and was approved by a judge April 21, according to court records.

The observation will not exceed 60 days, although the State Forensic Service could request additional time from the court, the records said. According to state prosecutors, Stewart allegedly murdered the child either by suffocating or strangling it or through neglect — by leaving it in a cold, unheated garage — after she gave birth.

A police affidavit filed in the case says that Stewart initially denied being pregnant and later gave state police multiple versions of what happened. Her mother, Lucille Stewart, reported a possible suspicious death to police in early January when she realized her daughter was no longer pregnant.

State police found the full-term baby boy wrapped in a blanket and trash bags under an oil tank in an unattached garage at the home Stewart shared with her boyfriend, Nicholas Blood, on Norridgewock Road in Fairfield. She was arrested and charged with murder Jan. 22.

No charges have been brought against Blood, the baby’s father.

Ames told the court at a Harnish hearing in February that Stewart had a miscarriage and panicked and that she was not responsible for the child’s death.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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