‘Serial Stowaway’ Deemed Mentally Unfit for Trial

Mar 30, 2018

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A woman who has snuck past security in airports numerous times has been deemed unfit for trial by an Illinois judge.

Marilyn Hartman, also known as the “Serial Stowaway” was ordered to a mental health facility by a Cook County judge on Thursday.

Hartman gained notoriety after sneaking past airport security and airline staff to get on planes as an unticketed passenger. She was most recently arrested in Chicago (ORD) after secretly flying on a British Airways flight to London Heathrow (LHR).

Court-ordered reports from a psychologist and a psychiatrist were given to Judge Maura Slattery Boyle who decided that Hartman’s mental health disqualified her from a normal trial.  Both healthcare professionals recommended she be required to undergo mental health treatment.

This isn’t the only time Hartman, 66, has been in court, but it is the first time she’s been deemed unfit for trial. She’s been to jail multiple times after trying to sneak onto flights in California, Chicago, Florida and Hawaii. In her January court appearance, a judge told Hartman to stay away from O’Hare and Chicago Midway (MDW) airports.

Image by the Chicago Police Department shows Marilyn Hartman, who added this month to her arrest record for sneaking onto planes after what police say was a ticketless flight from Chicago to London has been ordered released from jail, a judge said Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Chicago Police Department via AP) ORG XMIT: CER202
Image by the Chicago Police Department shows Marilyn Hartman.

“This defendant needs to be in a secure, locked facility,” Assistant State’s Attorney Kimellen Chamberlain said. Chamberlain added that Hartman has tried to leave court interviews and the Cook County Jail Hospital.

Hartman suffers from “major depression” according to psychologist Christopher Cooper and that her mental stability “appears to fluctuate day to day.” He added that she has a “preoccupation with media attention.”

The defendant, a Chicago native who has battled homelessness, will be evaluated every 30 days, and if her mental health stabilizes, her trial will resume. If it doesn’t after one year, she will be found not guilty by reason of insanity and will be placed in state custody.

H/T: The Chicago Sun Times

Featured image by Scott Olson / Getty Images. 

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