OREGON – An evaluation to determine whether the Oregon woman accused of suffocating her 7-year-old son almost 18 months ago is fit to stand trial was given the go-ahead Thursday.
Sarah Safanek, 35, is in Ogle County Jail on $2 million bond; she pleaded not guilty May 6, 2021, to five counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery of a child in the suffocation of Nathaniel Burton.
An autopsy showed the boy also suffered a ruptured liver.
One of her public defenders, Michael O’Brien, filed a motion Wednesday in Ogle County court seeking a fitness exam for Safranek, who refused to come to court that day, State’s Attorney Mike Rock said.
Judge John Redington approved the request Thursday after finding “a bona fide doubt” as to her mental fitness, the order granting the evaluation said.
Dr. Jayne Braden, a clinical psychologist in Sycamore, will conduct the evaluation at the jail, the order said.