Roseville stabbing suspect preliminary examination canceled for now

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 31, 2017

 Defense attorney John Trummer represents his client, Batina Jackson, inside Judge Catherine Steenland’s courtroom Jan. 25 during a probable cause conference.

Defense attorney John Trummer represents his client, Batina Jackson, inside Judge Catherine Steenland’s courtroom Jan. 25 during a probable cause conference.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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ROSEVILLE — A Roseville resident who is charged with assault with intent to murder was ordered during her probable cause conference Jan. 25 to go through a competency exam before proceeding to a preliminary examination.

The preliminary examination for defendant Batina Jackson, 29, originally was scheduled for Feb. 1 at the 39th District Court.

Jackson, who only spoke to recite her address to Judge Catherine Steenland during the probable cause conference, allegedly stabbed a 39-year-old Detroit resident with a steak knife Jan. 15 for refusing to “make a commitment to the suspect,” according to a press release from Roseville Police Chief James Berlin.  

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Dana Chiamp and John Trummer, the defense attorney for Jackson, slightly delayed the conference so that they could speak to one another.

Chiamp was under the impression that another attorney would be representing Jackson.

When the brief delay was over, Chiamp and Trummer returned to the courtroom to begin the probable cause conference.

“For purposes of the preliminary exam conference, what we will do at this point is, defense is requesting a competency evaluation and criminal responsibility evaluation. (I) don’t object,” said Chiamp.

After Chiamp’s statements to the court, Steenland asked Jackson to give her name and address to the court for the record.
Steenland asked Trummer his thoughts.

“Judge, based on Ms. Jackson’s prior mental health and treatment I’ve been able to discern, I think it’s prudent that, before we go forward with any proceedings, to make sure that she is competent; while she’s there, given the facts alleged, it also makes sense to evaluate her criminal responsibility as well,” said Trummer.

Trummer also asked the court about Jackson’s bond, which was set at $250,000 cash or surety, no 10 percent.

“As to bond, I would, if the court is willing, give some argument realizing the facts of this case make bond reduction very unlikely. However, she does have the support of her mother and sister, who are in the second row. The mother is prepared to supervise Batina extensively. She’s prepared to talk to the court, if the court would like, about what she’s prepared to do for Batina. Again, since there are mental health issues here, since the discovery is so complex, it would be much easier for me to represent her adequately if she were out on bond,” said Trummer.

“With that, I’d ask the court to consider a lower bond,” said Trummer.

Chiamp did not want Jackson’s bond to be lowered.

“Your honor, given the defendant’s history of untreated mental illness, the seriousness of the offense charged, the seriousness of the allegations involved in this case, the people would object to any bond modifications whatsoever,” said Chiamp.

Steenland explained why she was going to continue the original bond. 

“Ms. Jackson has been charged with a life felony — assault with intent to murder — and that being the case, I am going to continue the bond,” said Steenland.

Once the results from the competency exam are submitted, the court will reschedule a preliminary examination date for Jackson. She currently is being held at the Macomb County Jail.

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