Experts Disagree in Hearing Regarding Mental Health of Accused

By Hannah Adams

SANTA BARBARA, CA – In a motion hearing for pretrial diversion here Friday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, Judge Pauline Maxwell oversaw two opposing views regarding the mental health of the accused, Dr. Theresa Colosi.

On Dec. 8, 2019, Colosi met with her son and the victim, in the parking lot of Zodo’s Bowling and Beyond for a supervised custody visitation.

In an attempt to regain full custody of her son, Colosi allegedly struck a man on the head with a deadly weapon, first attempting to follow her son but ultimately fleeing the scene alone in a private chartered plane to Kalispell, Montana, after withdrawing $900,000 cash from her retirement fund.

On Dec. 27, 2019, Colosi pleaded not guilty to four felonies including attempted murder, attempted kidnapping, attempted child kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon likely to produce great bodily injury; and violating a court order to prevent domestic violence: a misdemeanor.

Following an extensive series of continuations, subpoenas and other matters, Colosi appeared before the court here on May 13. Colosi’s retained attorney, Benjamin Thomas Ladinig, motioned for a pretrial diversion, claiming that she is not mentally fit to appear before court.

The court said it was attempting to determine if Colosi suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar depression that may have led to her actions two years prior.

Prosecuting attorney Heather Trapnell led the motion hearing’s first examination,

A first expert argued Colosi was heavily influenced by her bipolar depression and her PTSD, citing Colosi’s history of being abused as a child, and arguing Colosi is prone to experiencing depressive episodes. She speculated that such an episode may trigger a response much like the one that was exhibited through her actions in 2019.

A second expert said that first analysis did not provide sufficient evidence to prove Colosi’s multiple diagnoses. He asserted the first expert failed to provide any real instance that would prove that Colosi suffered from PTSD or bipolar depression, let alone prove that she was majorly influenced by these disorders.

He also claimed that Colosi’s past is a relatively common experience; based upon the report alone, he concluded the first analysis relied too heavily on assumption and less on circumstantial evidence.

“We are decades removed from this concept of ‘I’m right because I’m a doctor’ logic,” the expert stated.

In a side comment, the first expert said she sympathized with Colosi’s predicament.

“Why do these court administrators not comprehend the extreme trauma of having the children you grew inside your body, stolen from you? The children of your biological creation, you put your blood, sweat and tears in. The trauma is so deep, it affects every part of you, and your life. Professionals have no rightful, nor lawful claim against the children and family life of other people. How can taking your own child be judged as kidnapping?” the first expert said.

While each side came prepared with more to say about the issue, Judge Maxwell was forced to adjourn the remaining half of the trial for a later date due to time restraints, and set the next court date for July 1.