The Washington Post

Woman who stabbed Target shopper due in court

Antoinette Starks (Prince George's County police)

Twice, Antoinette C. Starks has been incarcerated for stabbing Maryland shoppers. Twice, she has been let out of custody and committed crimes again. Twice, it appears, she will be found not criminally responsible.

On Wednesday, a Prince George’s County judge will grapple with what to do next after a guilty plea by the diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic.

Sparks last stabbed a woman loading her van in the parking lot of a Target in Lanham in 2011. Before that, it was shoppers in a Nordstrom in 2005 – both times with knives, taped together.

Since she was arrested over 18 months ago, Starks has undergone repeated mental health evaluations by the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, with differing results.

Last spring, she was found competent to stand trial. After another evaluation last summer, she was labeled incompetent to stand trial. This spring, she was again found competent to stand trial, and her attorneys filed a motion to hold her not criminally responsible. It is similar to the conditions under which she was admitted to state treatment after the 2005 attack, and released months before the 2011 attack.

Starks is scheduled to appear Wednesday morning before Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Larnzell Martin Jr.

Prosecutors said that Starks will most likely enter a plea of not criminally responsible to a charge of attempted first-degree murder. If Martin accepts the plea, it is expected that Starks will remain in the custody of the state. For how long, however, is unclear.

Aaron Davis covers D.C. government and politics for The Post and wants to hear your story about how D.C. works — or how it doesn’t.


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