Judge orders psychiatrist in slashing case | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Judge orders psychiatrist in slashing case

Steven Wasserman

A psychiatrist will be appointed by El Dorado County Superior Court to mentally evaluate Steve Wasserman, who is charged with attempted murder in allegedly slashing his ex-girlfriend with a sword.

The evaluation was ordered Monday by El Dorado County Superior Court Presiding Judge Suzanne Kingsbury. Two psychologists, one for the prosecution and one for the defense, evaluated Wasserman, who appeared in court with longer, curly black hair and a patchy beard. Kingsbury seemed unsurprised the two analysts had differing opinions on Wasserman’s mental state.

Defense attorney Lori London “strongly” opposed the appointment of a third mental evaluator and stressed the person should be without bias. Prosecutor Tony Sears agreed.

Wasserman has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to three special allegation felonies – attempted murder, aggravated mayhem and residential burglary – and two misdemeanors of endangering a child and violating a restraining order. He is being held at El Dorado County Jail at $10 million bail.

His former girlfriend, Susan Rizk, was hospitalized for two months and required five surgeries during her healing process. The pair’s 4-year-old daughter allegedly witnessed the attack.

A March 7 trial date was ruled void. Instead, an April 10 trial-setting date was scheduled. Kingsbury guessed the trial might start sometime in June.

She also stated questionnaires for possible jury members is one of the next business matters and will determine whether the trial will take place in South Lake Tahoe.

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