Ferndale woman accused of trying to kill her 11-year-old daughter pleads not guilty by reason of insanity

EUREKA – The woman accused of attempting to murder her own daughter by performing an exorcism has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s investigators say Kimberly Ann Felder repeatedly struck her 11-year-old daughter at Centerville Beach on June 16th. Witnesses saw the 45-year-old shoving sand in the child’s mouth and eyes until a bystander restrained her.

Felder’s attorney initially requested a second opinion as to her competency. Tuesday at the Humboldt County Courthouse, the defense accepted the first report which found her able to stand trial.

In addition to the not guilty plea entered at arraignment, the defense submitted a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. If a jury finds Felder guilty of attempted homicide, a second trial will determine if she was legally insane when she committed the crime. She would then be ordered to a mental health facility for treatment instead of serving jail time.

Felder’s next court appearance on September 14th will determine who will conduct the psychological evaluation.