PACE — An elderly woman was ordered by a Santa Rosa County judge to be psychologically evaluated Monday after allegedly killing her husband of 50 years over the weekend.
Just before 11 a.m. on Saturday, Santa Rosa County sheriff’s deputies responded to a medical emergency at a home on Jenny Circle in Pace. When they arrived, they found 89-year-old Francis Joseph Lund lying face down on the front porch.
An assistant state attorney accompanied investigators to the scene and had reported it appeared the victim had been beaten with a cane, according to State Attorney Bill Eddins.
"It’s a very sad case, it’s a situation where this man and woman had been married for 50 years," Eddins told the Daily News Monday.
An arrest report by the Sheriff’s Office said a neighbor saw Francis lying on the porch and his wife, 86-year-old Ramona Maxine Lund, standing over him. The neighbor told deputies that he thought Francis had fallen down and Ramona was trying to help him up.
When the neighbor walked over to help, he saw the victim wasn’t breathing and had blood on his head. He said he yelled to Ramona to call 911. She went into the house, but came back out saying she couldn’t find the phone, according to the report.
The neighbor went to his house to get his phone and call 911. He was instructed by dispatch to roll the victim on his back and start compressions. He was still warm to the touch and his eyes were open, the report said.
Deputies noticed “several bruises and indentations in and about Francis’s head and face,” according to the report. A broken walking cane covered in blood and hair was found on the sofa.
Ramona told deputies she changed her clothes before they got there. A nightgown with blood on it was found draped over a chair in the living room, the report said.
Blood-covered towels were found near the sofa, which made it appear someone tried to clean up blood from the entry way, the report said. Ramona also had blood on her shoes and on her hands.
“Based on the observations of my assistant and others who observed her, she was having some significant confusion,” Eddins said.
Before Monday's hearing, Eddins met with the public defender and the judge and asked that an expedited evaluation be conducted to learn whether Ramona was competent to face trial.
Ramona appeared before First Judicial Circuit Court Judge Robert Hilliard at 1:30 p.m. The Public Defender's Office asked Judge Hilliard to wave her hearing and get her an immediate evaluation to determine if she is competent to stand trial.
Eddins agreed, and Hilliard approved the request. Hilliard asked if she had been read her Miranda rights, and the public defender said he tried, but she was confused.
Both the State Attorney’s Office and the Public Defenders Office agreed that Dr. Scott Benson of Creekside Psychiatric Center should evaluate Ramona, if Benson can see her within 48 hours. If Benson is not available, another hearing will be scheduled for Tuesday.
Ramona is housed in the Santa Rosa County jail in the infirmary, where she is separated from all other inmates. She’s being held on $250,000 bond.
Daily News reporter Alicia Adams contributed to this report.