Instead, Regan is asking Lawrence Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins to make “reasonable inferences” based on the testimony of officers who interacted with Goodwin, as well as from viewing a video of Goodwin taken in the Salem Police Department’s interview room.
Wilkins, however, called the prosecution’s concern “valid.”
“As a layperson, I can’t evaluate a defendant’s mental health,” he said.
Sgt. James Page, the first of at least eight witnesses, testified that he did not initially read Goodwin her rights because, for some period of time, he did not consider her a suspect. Instead, he feared that she was one of three victims of an assailant who might still be at large.
As he pressed her for information about who had attacked the children, slashing their throats and hers, she said “sorry” repeatedly and told him she had to protect her babies.
At one point, as he described the injuries to the children, a boy who was 8 at the time and a girl who was 3, he paused for a moment to compose himself, his voice breaking as he recalled seeing the boy’s trachea exposed by the wound.
It was only after the boy was asked by a firefighter if his mother had attacked him, and he nodded, that police began viewing Goodwin as a suspect, he said.
Page said he read Goodwin her rights shortly after that. At that point, she told him she did not wish to speak to him.
The hearing is expected to resume next week.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.