A three-judge panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals yesterday ordered a new hearing on the proposed conditional release from St. Elizabeths Hospital of Leslie L. DeVeau, who two years ago was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting death of her 10-year-old daughter.
Hospital psychiatrists had recommended that DeVeau, 41, be released periodically to relatives and friends "as a therapeutic measure." But last year D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge H. Carl Moultrie I denied the request, saying DeVeau had not "recovered sufficiently."
The appeals panel yesterday ruled that Moultrie had not "adequately addressed" all of the evidence surrounding the proposal for DeVeau's release.
DeVeau was charged with first-degree murder after her daughter's body, shot once in the back with a 12-gauge shotgun at close range, was discovered in an upstairs bedroom at the family's home at 5112 45th St. NW on March 18, 1982.
Government prosecutors agreed that DeVeau was insane after psychiatrists testified that Deveau shot her daughter and attempted to kill herself because she thought both of them would be better off dead.
Moultrie committed DeVeau to the mental hospital indefinitely, but she is eligible to petition the court every six months for release. Hospital officials recommended that she be released one weekend each month into the custody of her sister and brother-in-law, and on certain weekdays to the pastor of a church, where she would do volunteer work.