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Mental health issues cited in South Boston stabbing

A 20-year-old homeless woman accused in a fatal stabbing in South Boston suffers from several mental health ­issues, including bipolar dis­order, a court psychiatrist testified in South Boston District Court Monday.

The scheduled arraignment for Sara Kelly, who was arrested Friday and charged with stabbing Shannon McCormick, 38, in the Old Colony housing ­development, was postponed until July 6, so that she can ­receive a psychiatric evaluation.

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Police were called to 242 East Ninth St. around 8:30 p.m. Friday and found McCormick suffering from a stab wound. She was taken to Boston Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Neither police nor prosecutors have provided details of the crime.

Richard Mackie, 59, who lives in the apartment where McCormick was killed, said she was his girlfriend. He said that he had allowed Kelly to stay with him for three days, during which he developed concerns.

“I was going to kick her out Saturday,” Mackie said Monday. “But Saturday was too late.”

According to Mackie, he and McCormick were in his apartment Friday night with Kelly and a man who Mackie said is a friend of McCormick’s family. Mackie and McCormick were pretending to box when the other man began throwing real punches. Mackie said he stepped into his bedroom to calm down when he heard someone fall, then the thud of the door slamming, followed by silence.

‘I was going to kick her out Saturday. But Saturday was too late.’

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He found McCormick lying motionless on the living room floor, and called 911, he said. Kelly and the man were gone. Police did not verify his ­account.

Choking up, Mackie recalled that he and McCormick would often stay up until the early-morning hours listening to soul music and dancing.

No one answered the door at McCormick’s family’s apartment Monday.

The stabbing is the fourth homicide in South Boston since April, a spate of violence some residents said was unusual.

“It was very shocking,” said Bob Juliano, 45, who lives a block from where the stabbing occurred. “It’s a really quiet neighborhood. Nothing ever happens here.”

Because the stabbing happened in his apartment, Mackie faces possible eviction by the Boston Housing Authority, administrator Bill McGonagle said Monday. “Residents are respon­sible for the actions of their guests. That’s in the lease,” McGonagle said. “A homicide by a guest is obviously a very ­serious incident.”

Mackie said he has a meeting with housing officials Tuesday morning.

Matt Woolbright can be reached
at matt.woolbright@globe.com.
Follow him on Twitter at
reportermatt.
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