ST. JOHNSBURY (AP) -- The lawyer for a woman charged with killing a Vermont teacher in 2012 has asked for a trial delay so she can undergo a psychological evaluation, court documents say.

Patricia Prue’s attorney Brian Marsicovetere said after speaking with his client last month he decided a mental health evaluation was needed and he hired a mental health expert to evaluate her, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Marsicovetere asked the court to suspend "all motion deadlines and other defense disclosure deadlines" until a status conference can be scheduled for early May.

Marsicovetere asked that any hearing on the issue be held without the public or press present in order to "protect Mrs. Prue’s attorney-client privileges," the Caledonian Record reported.

Prue, 34, and her husband, Allen Prue, 31, of Waterford are charged with murder in the killing of 33-year-old Melissa Jenkins of St. Johnsbury. Both have pleaded not guilty and they are being held without bail. They will be tried separately.

Jenkins, a single mother, was reported missing on March 25, 2012, after her vehicle was found idling on her rural road with her 2-year-old son inside. The next day, her nude, strangled and beaten body was found dumped in the Connecticut River in a remote spot, chilling the community where violent crime had been rare.

The Prues are accused of luring Jenkins her out of her house with a ruse about a broken-down car, beating and strangling her.


Caledonia Superior Court Judge Robert Bent has told lawyers in the Patricia Prue case to be ready for trial by May 1.