The Washington Post

Woman arrested in green paint vandalism case incompetent to stand trial, doctors say

Green paint mars the base of the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 26. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Doctors at the District’s psychiatric hospital say the woman who was arrested in connection with spattering green paint on landmarks this past summer is incompetent to stand trial, based on the report read at a hearing in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday.

Jiamei Tian, 58, was charged with one count of defacing property after the paint was found spattered at Washington National Cathedral. She was suspected in similar incidents at the Lincoln Memorial, a statute next to the Smithsonian Castle on the Mall, Luther Place Memorial Church and a statue of Martin Luther in Thomas Circle.

Since her July 29 arrest, Tian has been at St. Elizabeths Hospital, the District’s psychiatric facility. At a hearing Wednesday, doctors at the hospital issued a preliminary finding that Tian is currently incompetent and recommended that she be given a full competency examination while she remained a patient at the hospital.

Tian was not present at the hearing as parts of the hospital report were read. Her attorney, who is with the District’s Public Defender Service, requested that Tian be released from the hospital while she underwent further evaluations. Judge A. Franklin Burgess Jr. denied that request and ordered another examination. Another hearing was scheduled for Oct. 31.

Tian, prosecutors say, was in the United States from China on an expired visa.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.

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