Judge denies Mass. mom's bid for more freedom


TAUNTON (AP) - A judge has rejected a bid for more freedom from a woman sent to a state psychiatric facility after being found not guilty by reason of insanity for strangling her 3-year-old son.

The Patriot Ledger (http://bit.ly/Nhq94z ) reports that Judge Patricia Curtin last week ordered that 41-year-old Helen McLaughlin remain at Taunton State Hospital for another year.

McLaughlin was known as Helen Kirk when authorities say she killed her son, Justin, in their Carver home in 2005 because she thought he was the devil.

The state Department of Mental Health requested that McLaughlin be discharged and moved to a residential group home on hospital grounds where she would have had more unsupervised freedom. A doctor testified that McLaughlin's mental health has improved dramatically.

The Plymouth district attorney's office and McLaughlin's ex-husband opposed the move.

Information from: The (Quincy, Mass.) Patriot Ledger, http://www.patriotledger.com

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