Woman accused of burning baby, holding her against running treadmill found incompetant to stand trial

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DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne woman accused of severely abusing a Muncie baby has been found incompetant to stand trial.

Public court documents say, “the Defendant is incompetent to stand trial, and does not have comprehension sufficient to understand the nature of the criminal action against her, and to make a defense.”

Amber Vannatter confessed to burning the baby she was watching with a lighter and then holding her face against a running treadmill in August 2020.

She was charged with four counts of battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years old and two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury. All six charges are Level 3 felonies, each carrying up to 16 years in prison.

According to court documents, Vannatter will be committed to the State of Indiana Division of Mental Health. The documents also say “the Defendant was able to appreciate the wrongfulness of her actions.”

Proceedings in this case will be reevaluated in 90 days to see “whether the Defendant has a substantial probability of attaining comprehension sufficient to understand the proceedings herein and make a defense thereto within the foreseeable future,” according to court documents.

The next hearing is scheduled for November 18, 2021.

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