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Lawyer: Chinese woman in Mar-a-Lago case is mentally sound

June 5, 2019
FILE - In this April 15, 2019 file court sketch, Yujing Zhang, left, a Chinese woman charged with lying to illegally enter President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, listens to a hearing before Magistrate Judge William Matthewman in West Palm Beach, Fla. Attorneys for Zhang say she is mentally competent and should not be blocked from serving as her own lawyer. Assistant federal public defender Kristy Militello wrote in court documents filed in Florida this week that Zhang wouldn’t meet with a psychologist, but in interviews with her attorneys appears mentally competent. (Daniel Pontet via AP, File)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Attorneys for the Chinese woman charged with illegally entering President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort say she is mentally competent and should not be blocked from serving as her own lawyer.

Assistant federal public defender Kristy Militello wrote in court documents filed in Florida this week that Yujing Zhang wouldn’t meet with a psychologist, but has appeared to be mentally competent in interviews with her attorneys.

Zhang stunned U.S. District Judge Roy Altman last month by saying she wanted to fire the public defenders and represent herself. He tried to dissuade her but said he would allow it if she were found competent. He has scheduled a hearing next week.

The 33-year-old has pleaded not guilty to charges of trespassing at Mar-a-Lago on March 30 and lying to Secret Service agents.

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