The Gilroy woman who is charged with two counts of murder for allegedly driving drunk and causing a Jan. 14 car crash that killed her husband and daughter has said she is mentally incompetent for trial.
Stacy Lonnberg, 51, silently stood before a judge and her husband’s family on Wednesday in San Jose, as her lawyer said she was mentally unable to withstand trial, a move that surprised prosecuting attorney Matthew Braker, from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
Lonnberg will reappear in court Sept. 18, as prosecutors plan to make a rebuttal to her claim.
Doctors will evaluate Lonnberg’s mental status to determine whether or not is she is able to continue with trial.
“This is a delay, and hopefully just a small one,” Braker said. “There is no indication that she is mentally incompetent, based on courtroom behavior.”
If convicted, Lonnberg could face a minimum of 15 years in prison. Braker said he is confident there is enough evidence to convict Lonnberg with murder.
“Right now, according to our investigation, we think murder is the appropriate charge,” Braker said.
Originally charged with manslaughter, Lonnberg bailed out of jail four days after the wreck but was re-arrested after the District Attorney’s Office upped the charges to murder Jan. 25, and has been in custody since.
Lonnberg’s husband Fred Lonnberg, 57, and her daughter Tiffiny Gillette, 26, died when she rolled the family’s pickup on Highway 85 in Los Gatos, according to the California Highway Patrol. Lonnberg has admitted that she had been drinking the day of the accident.