Mukilteo child abuse defendant objects but is sent to hospital for evaluation

EVERETT —The lawyer for a Mukilteo woman accused of starving and beating a girl is concerned his client might not be able to assist in her own defense.

Mary Mazalic doesn’t share her lawyer’s opinion. She has refused to cooperate with state doctors who tried to determine if Mazalic is competent to stand trial.

“I’m not crazy. I just don’t like these people,” Mazalic said.

A judge on Friday ordered Mazalic to be taken to Western State Hospital for an evaluation. Her attorney Max Harrison said that he thought moving Mazalic to a more medical setting might persuade her to cooperate.

“I just said I didn’t want to go,” Mazalic said after the judge approved the order.

She refused to sign the paperwork.

Mazalic last month sent letters to a judge, criticizing her attorney and Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul. She wrote that she never would have agreed to be evaluated if she’d known what she was signing at a previous hearing. She also encouraged the judge to admonish Paul, who she said accused her of malingering.

Mazalic is charged with first-degree assault of a child and first-degree criminal mistreatment. Prosecutors allege that Mazalic repeatedly beat, starved and burned her boyfriend’s younger sister. The 10-year-old came to live with the couple about a year ago.

Authorities removed the girl from Mazalic’s home in August after concerned shop workers noticed that the girl appeared emaciated. The clerks reported that the girl shook the entire time she followed Mazalic around the store.

The girl weighed about 51 pounds when Child Protective Services asked police to remove her from the home. That’s about two-thirds the weight of a healthy child her age. Doctors also reported that the girl had what appeared to be cigarette burns on the tops of her feet. She also had injuries that appeared to be consistent with being whipped with a cord.

The girl told authorities that she was beaten with an extension cord and a ball or sock was stuffed in her mouth to stifle her screams, Paul wrote in court papers.

She also said that often she was forced to go without food. Mazalic allegedly would eat in front of her and when she complained of being hungry, Mazalic would say “too bad,” Paul wrote. Police noted that Mazalic, her boyfriend and their dog appeared well-fed.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463;

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