Attorneys seek expert mental examination of Baileyton double murder defendant

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CULLMAN, Ala. – On Monday Johnny Berry and Brandon Little, attorneys for Sara Tapia-Franco, the Baileyton mother accused of murdering two of her children Oct. 12, 2019, filed a motion requesting funds from Cullman County District Court to hire a mental health expert to examine the defendant. Tapia-Franco is considered indigent and unable to pay for her own defense; application for the expert examination was made under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

The motion states, “The Defendant allegedly attempted suicide at the time of her arrest” and “The Defendant again reportedly attempted a possible suicide on January 6, 2020 at the Cullman County Jail.”

The attorneys added that they had spoken to “the Defendant, the Defendant’s family and friends and all believe the Defendant suffers from severe mental issues.”

According to the motion, Tapia-Franco has a family history of mental illness.

Tapia is accused of murdering her two young sons, 3-year-old Alvaro Garcia and 9-year-old Taylor Garcia, Oct. 12, 2019. She is facing two counts of capital murder and one count of capital murder of two or more persons.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com