• Kimberly Kessler's competency hearing scheduled for July

    By: Action News Jax

    Updated:

    NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. - The family of Joleen Cummings will have to wait at least another week to find out whether the only suspect in the Nassau County mother’s murder is mentally competent to stand trial.

    Kimberly Kessler, the woman charged with Cumming’s murder was not in court during Thursday's hearing, but Cumming’s mother was and she spoke with Action News Jax just outside the Nassau County Courthouse.

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    Anne Johnson told us she was hoping to get more answers in her daughter’s case and she’s frustrated by the judge's decision.

    The courtroom was packed as Johnson sat patiently expecting to hear a ruling on her daughter’s murder case.

    Cummings disappeared more than a year ago and her body has not been recovered.

    The judge ordered a hearing next week to determine Kessler’s competency to stand trial.

    “At this stage I’m going through anger, you know, 'cause you want answers. You want resolution, you know, you want the prosecution and you want justice,” said Johnson.

    Action News Jax first told you in May that doctors claimed Kessler was incompetent to stand trial based on their evaluation.

    State attorneys in Nassau County challenged that claim and requested a motion to have another doctor examine Kessler. 

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    After reviewing both evaluations from mental health experts, the judge ordered that Kessler be transported to court next week.

    “Hopefully we will get that verdict, whatever it is, and then we’ll deal with it from there,” said Johnson.

    Johnson said she went through her daughter’s belongings Wednesday night.

    “She always did the heart with the letter J,” said Johnson as she held up her daughter’s pink book filled with Bible verses that she says helps give her and her family some peace as they wait for answers.

    “We are a Christian family and we’re going to stand behind the faith and we just ask everyone else to do the same: Stand with us. Stand with justice for Joleen,” she said.  

    The judge told Action News Jax Kessler’s next hearing will be on July 2.

     


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