By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor
A Portales mother charged with first-degree murder in the death of her son in January has been ordered to remain in the custody of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas, N.M., pending another competency hearing.
Teresa K. Gilman, 25, faces first-degree murder or the alternative charge of child abuse resulting in death.
Gilman is charged in connection with the Jan. 4 death of her 6-year-old son, Lorenzo “Lenchito” Cabral. Jr.
District Judge Steven Bell reviewed the state report earlier this month and ordered her commitment be continued. His order, which came after a competency review Sept. 7 in Portales, stated Gilman was not yet competent, but was making progress.
The order also stated she is still dangerous.
He ordered another competency review for Feb. 17.
Gilman’s attorney, Stephen McIlwain, said his client is continuing treatment but didn’t specify for what.
“They (NMBHI officials) say she’s making progress,” McIlwain said. “They say they believe they can bring her to competency within that deadline (Feb. 17).”
According to Capt. Lonnie Berry of the Portales Police Department, his department’s investigation into the child’s death has been complete for quite some time.
“Everything now is in the court process,” Berry said. “We’re just waiting for the trial.”
Autopsy results indicated the preliminary cause of the boy’s death was head trauma, but drowning could not be ruled out as a cause, according to police.
Witness interviews contend that Gilman poured water into the boy’s mouth after he was unconscious, according to the arrest affidavit.
Statements in the affidavit indicate Gilman believed she was told by God to flush the devil from the boy with water.