Amber Pasztor’s trial postponed to account for psychiatric evaluations

This photo released by the Elkhart, Ind., Police Department shows Amber Pasztor. Pasztor, was arrested on two counts of murder Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in the deaths of seven-year-old Liliana Hernandez and six-year-old Rene Pasztor, who were the subject of an Amber Alert. (Elkhart Police Department via AP)

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Amber Pasztor, the woman accused of killing her two children and her neighbor, will undergo further psychiatric testing despite her refusal to do so in a letter she addressed to to an Elkhart County judge. The letter was first reported by the Journal Gazette.

The letter reads in part, “…I want to plead guilty to the two counts of murder. I am competent and refuse to see another psych doctor.”

The letter was dated Dec. 14, but wasn’t filed with the court until Dec. 27, according to court records. Elkhart County deputy prosecutor Vicki Becker said it’s not unusual for people to write letters admitting guilt, and it is not enough to change her plea.

“There’s a lot more that goes into it more than just what she says in a letter,” Becker said. “Obviously is the most important thing right now. If there was going to be some time of change of plea we would set a formal hearing, she would be advised of all of her constitutional rights, ensure that she was communicating effectively with council then we would proceed from there.”

Pasztor had been expected in court Thursday morning for a status hearing, however she did not attend the hearing.  At the hearing, a trial date was set for March 20 with a status hearing scheduled for February 23.

Pasztor was evaluated at Oaklawn Hospital in Elkhart on Nov. 25. She was examined by a doctor on whether she is competent to stand trial. She’s expected to be evaluated by a second doctor at the IU NeuroScience Center in Indianapolis on Jan. 16.

In November, Pasztor’s attorney filed a motion for an insanity defense.

In an exclusive interview with NewsChannel 15 from jail in October, Pasztor admitted to killing her two children after she abducted them from their grandparents home on U.S. 33 in Allen County Sept. 26. Pasztor also told NewsChannel 15 she killed her neighbor, 65-year-old Frank Macomber.

Pasztor’s letter also read, “…I accept life without parole. Read to get this over with.” She went on to write, “…I am guilty and I accept my consequences thank you so much for your time.”

Photo of Amber Pasztor's letter dated December 14, 2016.
Photo of Amber Pasztor’s letter dated December 14, 2016.