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Prosecutors re-file charges against Buckley woman suspected of killing boyfriend

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Dec. 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm with 7 Comments »
December 21, 2011 2:58 pm

Pierce County prosecutors have re-filed a first-degree murder charge against a woman whose mental-health troubles have kept her from being prosecuted in the 2009 shooting death of her boyfriend.

Superior Court Judge Gary Steiner this afternoon ordered officials at Western State Hospital to evaluate Tammie Beth Pinkney to determine whether she is competent to stand trial in the death of Robert Irby, 61.

Irby died in May 2009 after being shot multiple times in his home in Buckley. He and Pinkney allegedly argued about her crack-cocaine use when she returned home May 13, court records show. She then retrieved a gun from her pickup and shot Irby, the records show.

Pinkney called 911 the next day to report Irby was not breathing. Firefighters found him dead and called police.

Pinkney, 43, was arrested and allegedly confessed to shooting Irby, court documents state, but she’s twice been found mentally incompetent to stand trial. The charges against her were dismissed as a result, and she’s been held at Western State Hospital since.

Prosecutors decided to re-file the charges when Western State Hospital officials notified them Pinkney’s mental health had improved enough that she was eligible to earn unescorted leave from the hospital, deputy prosecutor Stephen Penner said Wednesday.

She’s expected back in court next month for hearing to determine whether she is mentally fit to go to trial.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. serendipity says:

    Mentally ill people should not have guns in the house nor should anyone else in his or her house. Period.

  2. Wrapper98439 says:

    I really felt for her until I read that she was a crack addict. No sympathy. Mental problems are a disease. Addictions are a choice.

  3. serendipity says:

    I agree with you except she may have been self medicating which is a serious problem. It is so hard to get mental health treatment in this county. Actually, it is a nationwide problem. However, you are correct, choosing to use crack, alcohol or any substance really is a choice.

  4. bobcat1a says:

    “Mentally ill people should not have guns in the house nor should anyone else in his or her house. Period.”

    The NRA disagrees vehemently with you. They support gun purchases without background checks.

  5. serendipity says:

    Well, the NRA is stupid then. We have to have background checks. I have an ex-boyfriend with a criminal record who had his gun rights restored this year. He is mentally ill and an alcoholic.

    This is not comforting. I just hope I am the furthest thing from his memory at this juncture and I don’t want to see him ever, ever, ever again.

  6. ReadNLearn says:

    Serendipity, the reason you’re safe is because of gun owners…criminals hesitate because of the possibility of the home owner being armed.

    If you want to put your views to the test, simply do this, post a sign in your front window: “Gun free home.”

    You won’t do it, you know why, and that makes such opinions opposing home owners having firearms utterly hypocritical. You directly benefit from those who are armed yet you attack their rights.

  7. ransteth says:

    We have to have background checks. I have an ex-boyfriend with a criminal record who had his gun rights restored this year.

    Wow! Was he once the Sheriff in this county, and his name sounds like Park Bench?

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