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Criminal appeals court to review Boyett competency ruling in Hardin Co. manslaughter case

Crystal Boyett

The state's highest criminal court decided Wednesday to consider whether evidence at Crystal Boyett's 2015 manslaughter trial in Hardin County was sufficient enough to require a formal hearing to determine whether she was competent to stand trial.

Boyett was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a fatal 2014 crash that killed two Lumberton sisters and an unborn baby.

Her conviction was upheld by the Ninth Court of Appeals on May 31, 2017.

Boyett's attorneys have argued she should have been allowed a formal competency hearing.

In a brief filed with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in July, her attorneys say four witnesses testified at trial as to their observations of Boyett. Her trial attorney filed a motion indicating Boyett could not work with the attorney or their expert with a rational degree of understanding, which is required for competency.

Citing the state's code of criminal procedure, the attorneys note "on suggestion that the defendant may be incompetent to stand trial, the court shall determine by informal inquiry whether there is some evidence from any source that would support a finding that the defendant may be incompetent to stand trial."

You can read more from Boyett's petition here.

The crash happened in Lumberton, where police said Boyett's car exceed 120 mph before colliding with an SUV carrying Courtney Ray Sterling, 15, Connely Renee Burns, 20, and Burns' unborn son, Tyson, all of whom were killed.

Boyett, now 44, is assigned to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice unit about a half-hour drive south of Waco, online TDCJ records show.

RELATED: Kirbyville woman convicted of manslaughter in Lumberton sisters' killing loses appeal


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