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Defendant in Yuma double murder case requests mental health evaluation

Sanity evaluation requested after state announces plan to seek death penalty - News 11's Arlette Yousif reports

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Yuma man accused of murdering his girlfriend and her two-year-old son wants a psychiatric evaluation.

Attorney Raymond Hanna, who is representing 28-year-old Trevon Wilhite, says the defense will join prosecutors in requesting the mental health examination.

Prosecutors announce last week they plan to seek the death penalty against Wilhite for the murders of 25-year old Tamacia Wilder and her two-year-old son, Roy.

"I think this is just a way of them weaseling out of what is, what needs to happen," says South Yuma County Domestic Violence Coalition Chairperson Marie Cecilia Cruz.

Wilder's mother, Tamecia Sadler joined the hearing via telephone conference. Sadler sobbingly asked the judge to speak but decided to wait until the next hearing.

Too distraught to speak on camera, Sadler issued a written statement to KYMA saying:

"I am asking the people of Arizona to seek justice for my daughter. [Wilhite] claiming to be mental or his father coaching PTSD and blaming the military is absurd."

-Statement from Tamecia Sadler, victim's mother

The South Yuma Domestic Violence Coalition says this tragedy is unfortunately all too common.

"This is just such a terrible case where they’re displaying actions of love, happiness in front of the family members and then all of a sudden, you know, killed his girlfriend, killed this innocent child," explains Cruz.

The Yuma Police Department (YPD) says the cause of death for both victims was blunt force trauma.

"These attacks are just getting more and more vicious," says Cruz.

But Cruz says there are signs to look out for.

"Once you start getting the pushing the shoving, you know, it all escalates to worse and worse," explains Cruz.

She says vigilance can make a difference.

"We need everybody, men, women to take a stand against this. So when you see or hear your neighbors, you know, in an argument… call the police. You know, we don’t know where it’s gonna lead,"

Wilhite is expected to be back in court on October 12, after his mental competency and sanity evaluation.

If you would like to help the victim's family, you can visit their GoFundMe page.

KYMA will continue to bring you the latest on this case.

Crime / Yuma County
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Arlette Yousif

Arlette Yousif joined KYMA in November 2020 as a Multi Media Journalist. She holds a BA in Journalism with a minor in Film.

You can reach out to Arlette for at arlette.yousif@kecytv.com.

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