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Clerk charged in baby’s death found competent


LIVINGSTON—On December 14, two mental health professionals found Tara J. Tomlin, 20, of Livingston competent to stand trial for the murder of her infant son, according to a source with knowledge of the case.

Her trial will go forward in Columbia County Court, though a trial date has not yet been set.

Psychiatrist Carlos Valley, MD, and psychologist Jeremy Vose, PsyD, signed reports certifying that in their opinions Ms. Tomlin “does not as a result of mental disease or defect lack capacity to understand the proceedings against her or to assist in her defense.”

Ms. Tomlin is in the Columbia County Jail without bail on a charge of second degree murder, a class A-1 felony. While on duty as a clerk at the Bells Pond Xtra Mart convenience store, she gave birth to a living 7½ pound baby boy in the store restroom in the early morning hours of November 27. She then allegedly put the child in a garbage bag and deposited the bag in a dumpster behind the store. The child died of homicide by asphyxiation, according to a pathologist’s report.

During her arraignment in Livingston Court November 28, Justice Robert Q. Moore ordered Ms. Tomlin to undergo psychiatric exams by two independent experts to determine if she is competent to stand trial. Her attorney, Michael Howard with the Public Defender’s Office requested the exams and District Attorney Paul Czajka concurred.

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