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ACCIDENT CAUSES WOMAN TO MISS A COURT HEARING

SHARE ACCIDENT CAUSES WOMAN TO MISS A COURT HEARING

A former Layton woman charged with killing her teenage foster child to collect insurance benefits 2 1/2 years ago missed a court hearing Friday to determine her mental competency.

Tonya Vosburgh, 34, tipped over backward in her wheelchair Monday while leaving the laundry room in her Woods Cross apartment complex and is in the hospital with a head injury, defense attorney Earl Spafford told 2nd District Judge Jon Memmott.Vosburgh has suffered a series of accidents and medical problems since she and her husband, Rick Vosburgh, 44, were charged with murder and insurance fraud in the March 3, 1993, death of Bobbi Jo Womack in their Layton home.

Although charged with first-degree felonies, neither of the Vosburghs have entered pleas since their arraignment in Layton 2nd Circuit Court two months after the fire that killed Womack.

Womack, 18, died in a fire in the garage of the Vosburgh home that prosecutors charge was intentionally set. The girl was mentally disabled and had some physical dis-a-bil-i-ties as the result of a car accident she was in at age 12.

Prosecutors charge the Vos-burghs intentionally set the fire that killed her, hoping to collect on a $100,000 life insurance policy. Tonya Vosburgh met Womack while working as an aide in a care center, and the Vosburghs eventually sought and were granted custody of Womack.

Shortly after her arraignment in May 1993, Tonya Vosburgh suffered a head injury in a fall and then a series of strokes, according to court records, that left her mental status in dispute.

A string of prior defense attorneys told the court she is disabled, with the mental competence of a child and unable to comprehend the charges against her or aid in her own defense.

Spafford told the judge Friday that he has talked to Tonya on several occasions and that she has some lucid periods but overall he is unable to determine her mental competence.

Two psychologists have examined her and one reported Tonya Vosburgh may have suffered some impairment in the fall and subsequent strokes but also believes she is faking the extent of her injuries and disability to avoid prosecution.

Both mental examination reports, and the rest of her court file, have been sealed by Memmott.

The judge ordered a new competency hearing for Aug. 21 and ordered Tonya Vosburgh to appear that day or the hearing will be held without her.

Womack's family filed a $2.5 million wrongful death suit in May in 3rd District Court, charging officials of the Department of Human Services had failed to act on complaints about the Vosburghs' treatment of the girl and others the state placed in their care.