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Criminal proceedings were suspended this afternoon against a Sebastopol area woman charged with the stabbing murder of her mother last week. Julia Franzen, 24, will be examined by a psychologist to determine if she is mentally competent to participate in her defense. Her next court date is March 11 in Sonoma County Superior Court. Franzen has not entered a plea to killing her mother Nancy Franzen, 59, in their Tocchini Street home on Feb. 4. Nancy Franzen’s body was found on the floor of a bedroom after Franzen showed up at a neighbor’s house with a knife and blood on her hands, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said.
Franzen told her neighbor she had just killed someone then ran back to her house, sheriff’s Lt. Steve Brown said. In court on Friday, Judge Jamie Thistlethwaite warned Franzen not to say anything as she started speaking. Moments before the distraught thin, blonde-haired defendant was taken out of court in a wheelchair, she said, “Just grow a garden, it’s the most beautiful thing you could ever do.
” “This is a very sad case for all involved,” Franzen’s attorney, Interim Sonoma County Public Defender Kathleen Pozzi said. Court records show six cases since March 2011 involving domestic violence, battery, false imprisonment, vandalism and violations of probation by Julia Franzen. During that time she was found both mentally competent and incompetent, ordered to participate in an anger management program and allowed to have peaceful contact with her mother.
Outside the courtroom, Sebastopol resident Steve Einstein, a friend of the Franzen family, said, “We were aware of Nancy’s struggles with her daughter for many years.” He said Nancy Franzen tried to get help for her daughter, but Julia resisted. “It’s a struggle every parent has when a child resists their advice,” Einstein said. Einstein said Nancy Franzen worked as a nurse at Palm Drive Hospital and at the Sutter VNA & Hospice, now known as Sutter Care at Home. Julia Franzen’s 4-year-old daughter is in the custody of her father, Einstein said.
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