A Riverside County Superior Court judge on Thursday, Aug. 25, ordered that a woman accused of stealing a car and kidnapping the victim’s 3-year-old child in Temecula be placed in a state mental hospital.
Judge F. Paul Dickerson, after reviewing reports from doctors who examined Jessica Emily Reichert, had announced in June that he considered Reichert, 52, incompetent to stand trial. That means the judge determined she did not understand the charges against her nor could competently assist in her defense.
Reichert had been charged with child stealing, willful child cruelty, grand theft auto and evading police, all felonies. With the finding of incompetency, however, the criminal proceedings at Southwest Justice Center in French Valley were suspended. Reichert could again face the charges if she is declared rehabilitated.
On April 14, the father of the child reported the toddler missing and told the Sheriff’s Department that his car and keys were missing from his home. A deputy spotted the car in the unincorporated community of Aguanga and tried to pull it over. The driver did not stop until she reached Temecula, the Sheriff’s Department said.
Authorities have not announced any motive. They said they do not believe Reichert is related to the victims.