Attleboro cult mom ruled incompetent to stand trial

Boston Herald/May 31, 2003
By David Weber

A judge ruled that the mother of an infant who starved to death because her religious cult-member relatives would not allow the baby to be fed still is not competent to stand trial.

Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Donovan yesterday ordered Karen Robidoux, 27, to return to court July 22 for another assessment of her mental state.

Robidoux faces a second-degree murder charge in the 1999 death of her 1-year-old son, Samuel.

Robidoux's husband, Jacques Robidoux, already is serving a life sentence in prison after his conviction for first-degree murder in June.

Donovan initially declared Karen Robidoux not competent to stand trial in January after her lawyer, Joseph Krowski, said she could not participate in the preparation of her defense because she would curl up in a fetal position and cry every time the details of her son's death were discussed.

Since then, Robidoux has been confined to Taunton State Hospital.

Jacques Robidoux's sister, Michelle Mingo, also is awaiting trial on a charge of accessory to murder because her "vision from God'' allegedly led her to urge the parents to stop feeding the boy.

The Robidoux family members were part of a religious cult based in Attleboro. They believed that God would provide them with everything they needed and that contact with the outside world was bad.

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