A young woman stood at an MBTA bus stop Tuesday evening with some friends, waiting to board. Without warning, a passenger who was getting off the bus pulled out a pair of black-and-blue scissors and stabbed the woman in the chest, a prosecutor said in Boston Municipal Court Wednesday.
Police found the suspect nearby, still holding the scissors, according to a police report filed in court. While she was being handcuffed, the suspect, Michelle E. Jackson, asked a detective if the victim was still alive, according to the report.
Authorities say that when the detective did not respond, Jackson stated, “I hope she’s dead.”
The report said the 21-year-old victim and her friends had “fled on foot, fearing for their lives.”
The victim, who lives in Cambridge, was treated at an area hospital and discharged with stitches. She told police that Jackson is a stranger and she has does not know what provoked the attack, which occurred near the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Albany Street in the area of Boston Medical Center. Reached by telephone, the victim declined to comment.
Jackson, 47, of Boston, faces charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assult with intent to kill.
In court Wednesday, Judge Tracy-Lee Lyons ordered Jackson held without bail for a 20-day stay at the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, where she is to be evaluated for competency and responsibility. A cash bail of $5,000 is to be imposed when the evaluation is complete.
Defense attorney William Roa said he was unable to communicate with his client.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a lot of information from Miss Jackson herself, other than her name, and even that was difficult,” he told the judge.
As attorneys discussed the case, Jackson swiveled her head, eyes wide, and scanned the courtroom ceiling. At one point, as Roa spoke, she abruptly bent her body toward the floor.
A court clinician and psychologist said Jackson disclosed a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, in which a person experiences a mix of mania, depression, hallucinations, and delusions. Jackson told the clinician, Karin Towers, that she has not taken her psychiatric medication for at least a year.
“She seemed somewhat confused; her thinking was somewhat muddled,” Towers said. “At times she would have one answer, and when I tried to clarify or follow up, she would say something completely different.”
Towers said Jackson often smiled inappropriately, mumbled to herself, or made “odd clicking sounds.”
At times, she said, Jackson did not understand why she needed an attorney.
The prosecutor, Special Assistant District Attorney Eric Teasdale, initially asked for $50,000 bail “given the serious nature of this case and given that the defendant has shown no remorse for her actions.”
A status hearing is scheduled for Aug. 29.