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Judge might decide next month whether woman charged with repeatedly stabbing Boston EMT can go free without standing trial

A woman who has been held in institutions since she was arrested in 2019 on charges she repeatedly stabbed a Boston EMT as she was being taken to Mass. General has a hearing scheduled next month to determine whether she should be allowed to walk out of the residential substance-abuse program at Shattuck Hospital where she now lives.

Julie Tejeda of East Boston had been scheduled for a hearing this morning in Suffolk Superior Court to review her stay there, but Judge Joshua Wall continued the hearing until April 3, pending receipt of treatment records from the state Department of Mental Health.

Tejeda was indicted in February, 2020, on for assault and battery causing serious injury and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon - in addition to the EMT she allegedly stabbed on June 10, 2019 - Elania McAlister - she was also charged with pepper spraying another EMT.

But she has never come to trial. In March, 2020, after setting bail at $100,000, a Suffolk Superior Court judge declared her incompetent to stand trial and ordered her to a stay at the state-owned Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital. She was later transferred to the program at Shattuck.

On May 25 of last year, a judge reduced her bail to personal recognizance and changed her commitment to voluntary - but under the condition she continue to stay at the Shattuck as long as DMH felt she needed care. At next month's hearing, Judge Joshua Wall could free her from even that requirement.

As Live Boston first reported, both McAlister and the Boston EMS Union urged that she not be allowed to walk.

In a Facebook post, McAlister wrote:

So, I guess you can attempt to murder me, play stupid about the legal system, and get away with it all.

In a statement, EMS Union President Matthew Anderson said:

EMT McAlister nearly lost her life during this senseless act of violence, her children almost lost their mother, and a career was cut short. Justice has not been served. If Ms. Tejeda is unfit to stand trial, she needs to be away from the public and other first responders, a place where she has no access to weapons, and can get the mental health treatment she desperately requires.

Innocent, etc.



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Why couldn't she go to trial and plead insanity? I'm not trying to say a potentially dangerous person should be let go without consequences, but on the flip side being involuntarily held in institutions for going on 4 years with no trial seems nightmarish for me, considering how little faith I have in our justice system.


The legal definition of "insanity", for purposes of declaring someone not guilty, is quite limited and probably wouldn't work for her.

I thought there was a time limit for how long they can hold someone who is unfit to stand trial. 4 years seems extremely long. If they're unfit to stand trial, and also don't fit the legal definition of insanity, then they just get to go free whenever the state decides? Sounds scary, in lots of ways.


I never understood the "not guilty by reason of insanity" plea/verdict in this country. A "guilty by reason of insanity" (technically known as "guilty but mentally ill") verdict makes far more sense.

Incompetent to stand trial isn’t the same as guilty by insanity.

To stand trial in a criminal case, a defendant must be capable of understanding the charges against them. In other words, the individual needs to be in their right mind before they can face prosecution.

An insanity defense is based on the theory that the majority of individuals can choose to follow the law or not. A few individuals cannot be held accountable because mental illness or defect deprives them of making a rational and voluntary choice. Because of this deficit, they are given special treatment as opposed to prison.


“ but on the flip side being involuntarily held in institutions for going on 4 years with no trial seems nightmarish for me”

Couldn’t agree more!

IT is likely she is still not competent to stand trial. If that is the case, the matter would have to be continued until the time equal to half the maximum sentence. See Mass General Law 123 section 16F. The case would then be subject to dismissal. The commitment to a mental health facility is handled on a seperate docket on the civil side of the court's jurisdiction. Therefore not necessarily up to the Judge handling the Criminal Case.


You have to be able to understand the charges against you. The ruling back in 2020 would suggest the judge did not think she could.

What housing does she have if she "walks" out of the Shattuck??!!!!!!


Hopefully a nice cold slab of cement under a bridge.


A major exacerbating factor with mental illness is unstable life circumstances. Homelessness being a well known one.

If you want people with behavioral disorders to be better and for society to be better off and safer, I highly suggest you reconsider the harshness of your statement.


So then she attacks other homeless people, and inevitably social services/cops/emts again when they get called in to address the issue?

thats not nice at all! dont matter what the person did. if God forgives us why cant we?

Which is bureaucratic lingo for someone who is too dangerous to be around normal people.


The EMS Union's statement is professional, while the survivor's post is pretty inappropriate.

And to clarify for the unwashed UHub commenter masses who can't hold onto two thoughts at once, of course it is not acceptable to assault someone. However, we as health care providers are trained to view patients with compassion and understanding - and really should not be speaking about someone we've taken care of at all, even if the situation has been publicly reported on, and especially shouldn't be editorializing about "playing stupid" and "getting away with it." None of us enjoy getting assaulted, but we also took on a career in which we committed ourselves to upholding our ethical standards including when we encounter very disturbed people. This EMS needs to reserve those personal feelings for truly private communications such as with a therapist, not publish them.


If this subject, accused of attempted murder, does eventually go on trial for this crime, should the victim, and the other EMT victim who was assaulted, decline to testify? By extending your statements, it would be inappropriate for them to speak about a former patient in a public setting.


Generally our professional organizations (and our in-house counsel if employed by an organization) will not advise us against testifying. They do review with us the laws and ethics codes that allow for exceptions to confidentiality laws when a crime affecting public safety has taken place. These do not allow exceptions for talking to media or posting on Facebook. There are no exceptions to the ethics codes requiring that we stick to facts, report observations objectively, and speak respectfully and professionally to and about people we care for. Again, the feelings are valid, but those belong in therapy, not public websites.

There are exceptions to ethics codes and confidentiality laws for communicating with law enforcement (all arms of it) if there has been/is likely to be severe danger to someone. There are not exceptions for any other purpose, like speaking to media or posting on facebook.

This situation is already public knowledge, so it should be protected to make a statement such as the union made. Healthcare providers and facilities often make general statements i.e. "it is unfortunate what happened and let's hope for a good resolution for everyone involved."

It is problematic to make judgemental and speculative comments about a patient's character, and especially to make these publicly where anyone can see these and see that speaking about patients in such a manner is apparently acceptable to this employer.

Sounds great! Next time you get repeatedly stabbed you can model your version of "correct" behavior.