Melodia Dunn committed to mental health facility

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A judge has granted Melodia Dunn's request for emergency commitment to a mental health facility.

Depending on a court hearing, Dunn might stay for an extended period of time.

According to a court order, Dunn will remain committed at the Memphis Mental Health Institute until further orders from the court.

Dunn was originally sent there for a mental evaluation.

A typical stay lasts no longer than 30 days, after which most defendants return to jail.

At this time, the judge said Dunn is not competent to stand trial.  She is charged with reckless homicide and child abuse.

Dunn is accused of leaving her two young sons home alone.  Both died in a subsequent house fire.

Before Dunn can go on trial, the judge must determine that she is competent, that she has the capacity to understand court proceedings and participate in her own defense.

Sources said Dunn struggles with a below average IQ and emotional grief and instability.

The intended goal of prolonged pre-trial commitment is to get a defendant competent for trial through further lessons and medication if deemed necessary.

Dunn's attorney, Mike Working, said he was concerned with Dunn's welfare but otherwise declined to comment.

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