A Plymouth Superior Court judge has found Lindsay Clancy, the Duxbury mother accused of strangling her three children to death earlier this year, “at imminent risk for self-harm” and ordered her held without bail and committed to psychiatric care at Tewksbury Hospital for a six-month period.
“It is my opinion that she does require ongoing psychiatric hospitalization,” Dr. Karin Towers, a forensic psychiatrist retained by the court, testified during Clancy’s Superior Court arraignment Thursday morning. Towers said she had examined Clancy earlier that morning and found the defendant presented with a flat affect and reported “unbearable depression and trouble getting through each day,” feelings of worthlessness and regular suicidal ideation.
Judge William F. Sullivan was convinced and ordered Clancy held without bail and committed to Tewksbury Hospital for an extended six-month stay without the need for monthly evaluations. The arraignment was held in Tewksbury Hospital via Zoom video teleconferencing. Clancy could not be seen in the video.
Sullivan set the next court date for Dec. 15.
Clancy, 33, is accused of strangling her three children with exercise bands in the basement of their home at 47 Summer St. in Duxbury the night of Jan. 24 before jumping out of a window in an apparent suicide attempt. Investigative affidavits filed in a lower court and released Tuesday indicated she also cut her wrists and neck before jumping from the second-floor window.
On Thursday, prosecutor Jennifer Sprague cast doubt to the seriousness of Clancy’s suicide attempt and described the cuts as rather superficial. She also laid out arguments to head off any defense regarding diminished responsibility due to Clancy not being of sound mind at the time of the homicides.
Sprague said that notes on Clancy’s phone and in notebooks found at the house document her life and the lives of her children, but in these writings she always appears to know who she is, where she is and describes “no hallucinations or delusions.” While the writings do allegedly include suicidal or homicidal ideations, Sprague said, these disappear following her stay at the beginning of January at McLean Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Belmont.
Clancy was prescribed a medley of medications, Sprague said, and was taking three regularly by the night in question. Bloodwork examined after the alleged killings showed several medications in her system, though Sprague argued that the majority of these were in safe, therapeutic doses and the one that was found at a higher dose, Seroquel, is an antipsychotic and thus should diminish and not cause a likelihood of a violent outburst.
Clancy’s defense attorney, Kevin Reddington, said that he was at the house and “was able to see the blood that was on the floor, on the wall, on the windowpane” from his clients wounds and dismissed out of hand Sprague’s argument that it was just some “dinky cut,” as what he saw reminded him more of “arterial spray.”
What Reddington saw in the house, he said, was evidence “in every room” of a deep family love, with happy photos of the family and signs of the children’s creative output and education dotting the home.
This is a developing story.
Judge William F. Sullivan, center, listens as Plymouth Assistant DA Jennifer Sprague speaks during the Superior Court arraignment of Lindsay Clancy, the Duxbury mother accused of killing her three kids, held via Zoom from Tewksbury Hospital on Thursday morning. Clancy’s defense attorney Kevin Reddington listens from the far right of the screen. (Screengrab / Plymouth Superior Court)