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Evaluation for Mom Accused of Killing Daughter Stalls

Veva Virgil's mental health must be assessed before a judge can decide to set her homicide trial

of a mother acussed of killing her 3½-year-old daughter was again continued Tuesday.

Veva Virgil, now 40, has pleaded not guilty by means of mental disease or defect in the November 2008 smothering death of her young daughter, Isabella Grace Martinez, in Watsonville.

before any trial could begin. At issue is if Virgil was sane when she allegedly killed Isabella. Her competency to stand trial—whether she can aid in her own defense—must also be decided.

In court Tuesday, Virgil was silent as her defense attorney, Maya Nordberg, explained why more time was necessary.

"There were additional pieces of information the doctor needed," Nordberg said.

Virgil, who lived in Aptos, has been held in County Jail since shortly after Isabella was killed in a Watsonville motel room. She will return to court Aug. 28 to set court dates.

Virgil faces life in prison if convicted.

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