Disabilities agency to appeal housing 97-year-old murder suspect

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Amanda Stevenson appears in court.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - The Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities will file an appeal of the order by a St. Johns County judge that 97-year-old murder suspect Amanda Stevenson be housed at one of the agency's facilities.

The agency says it doesn't have the capabilities to deal with her dementia and other medical issues.

Stevenson is accused of killing her nephew, 53-year-old John Rice, in September 2011 -- shooting him in the chest while he was lying in bed.

She was declared "incompetent to stand trial" after previous mental evaluations and has remained in legal limbo for months. At a court appearance several months ago, the judge ordered another evaluation to determine where she should be housed.

Already evaluated by five doctors, the judge was allowing a more narrow assessment of Stevenson's mental health under a different set of guidelines that both attorneys hope encompasses dementia.

Stevenson's defense team argued her competency should not be in question because the judge already declared her incompetent to stand trial.

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