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Mother gets mental aid - for a cost

Dorothy Dianne Rose, accused of strangling her two children, can receive treatment at a private mental hospital if she pays for it herself, a judge ruled Friday. Rose, who has recovered physically from slitting her wrists, is psychotic and would become suicidal if moved to jail, according to a psychiatrist hired for her defense.

A jail medical administrator testified at a hearing Friday that Rose would not get the needed acute, around-the-clock medical attention in jail.

Rose's attorney, Barry Cohen, argued that moving Rose to a state mental hospital, as the prosecutor had suggested, would be as bad as sending her to jail. Cohen urged the judge to order her treatment at St. Joseph's Hospital, a private facility.

John Skye, an assistant state attorney, asked why Rose should receive special treatment when scores of other mentally ill defendants are being treated at state mental hospitals.

"It would be a travesty of justice for all other mentally ill persons to single out Dorothy Dianne Rose for treatment at a private mental hospital just because she has an eloquent attorney," he said.

Rose's psychiatrist estimated it would cost $500 a day for about 12 weeks at the private facility. Saddling taxpayers with that $42,000 bill isn't fair, Skye said.

County Judge Walter R. Heinrich decided that Rose can receive treatment at the private facility but must pay for it herself. She can't leave without a court order.

Rose is accused of strangling her 13-month-old daughter and 2-year-old son Jan. 23. The case is expected to go before the grand jury next week.