Psychiatrist: Kimberly Kessler's prognosis 'poor without medication'

Doctor who evaluated Kessler believes she has delusional disorder


NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – A psychiatrist who interviewed Kimberly Kessler, the woman charged with killing Joleen Cummings, her co-worker and a Nassau County mother of three, wrote he believes Kessler is suffering from delusional and personality disorders, according to state documents obtained Tuesday by News4Jax.

Dr. Umesh Mhatre is the second psychiatrist who interviewed Kessler at the Duval County jail in June. According to a psychiatric evaluation, Mhatre spoke with Kessler while her attorneys were present for about 30 minutes before Kessler left the session.

Mhatre wrote that Kessler believes she is competent to stand trial and that she became "somewhat irate" and critical of the first psychiatrist who found her not competent. While attempting to communicate further with Kessler, Mhatre wrote that Kessler began ignoring him and continued talking with her attorneys. She began talking about George Washington, Masons, secret keys and religious scriptures.

According to Mhatre's evaluation, Kessler confirmed she was facing a murder charge and accused of stealing a vehicle. When Mhatre asked about the name of the victim, he wrote that Kessler became upset and said, "It's all in the records and you need to look yourself." He said Kessler became upset and did not want to cooperate.

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Mahtre wrote Kessler then accused the media of paying the prosecutors and said she hoped the media would pay something to the public defenders. Mahtre said Kessler threatened to leave the room when he tried to get her attention. 

After 30 minutes of attempting to regain her focus, Mathre asked, "What happened to you walking out?" Mahtre said that's when Kessler left the room.

In his summary, Mhatre wrote Kessler "clearly showed some delusions and paranoid thinking." Mhatre wrote he did not believe her behavior was exaggerated and that Kessler has "some significant psychiatric problems" that require further attention.

Mhatre wrote he believes Kessler should be committed to a state hospital where she can be treated, and he believes she's suffering from delusional disorder and personality disorder. Kessler does not want to be placed on medications because "she does not believe there's anything wrong with her."

Mhatre said Kessler's overall prognosis is poor without medication, but he wrote that he believes if she is appropriately treated that she could eventually become competent to proceed.

Kessler was found not competent to stand trial July 2 by a state-appointed psychologist, who agreed with the opinion previously given by a psychiatrist for Kessler's defense. She's scheduled to receive a follow-up evaluation in early January.

Cummings, who worked at Tangles hair salon in Yulee, has been missing since May 2018. Though Cummings' body has not been found, investigators said they’ve found several notable items at a Georgia landfill.

Kessler is believed to be the last person to see Cummings alive. The case has attracted national attention in part because authorities said Kessler, who went by Jennifer Sybert, has used 17 aliases over the years.

Joleen Cummings
Joleen Cummings

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