Tassone assault suspect to undergo psychological evaluation | TheUnion.com

Tassone assault suspect to undergo psychological evaluation

Mary Grace Tassone was seriously injured in the attack.
Courtesy photo |

Criminal proceedings have been suspended in the case against Alan Curtis Sorensen, aka Kierkegaard, the man who allegedly attacked 78-year-old Mary Grace Tassone outside a Grass Valley church and stole her car.

The court-appointed attorney for Sorensen, 50, has requested his client be interviewed by a psychologist to determine his mental competence.

Tassone was struck in the head around 5:30 a.m. at St. Patrick Church July 5 and wasn’t found until two hours later.

On July 6, Grass Valley Police issued a BOLO for Sorensen, who reportedly took Tassone’s 2013 gray Honda Accord. Sorensen was arrested July 9 after being spotted in the parking lot of the Grass Valley Kmart, and is being held without bail.

Sorensen was arraigned in Nevada County Superior Court July 10 and was appointed David Alkire as his defense attorney after the Public Defender’s Office declared a conflict of interest.

He has been charged with attempted homicide with premeditation, kidnapping and carjacking with a special allegation of causing grievous bodily injury to an elderly victim.

On Thursday, Alkire said he could not proceed and filed a written declaration, saying he believes Sorensen is not mentally competent to stand trial.

Part of Alkire’s declaration reportedly included concern expressed by the judge at Sorensen’s initial arraignment as to his mental status, and Sorensen’s recent refusal to come out of his jail cell to meet with his attorney.

The matter was set for a conference on Aug. 27, and criminal proceedings have been suspended.

Tassone’s family continues to provide updates on her condition at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/marygracetassone.

Tassone usually has a typical “awake period” for five to six hours each day, wrote her nephew, Greg Tassone. She is generally not speaking.

As part of her therapy, and to help her communicate, she has been learning to write again.

Her cognitive abilities continue to improve; she is interacting more deeply with her medical team, answering their questions (challenges), and able to read certain words.

“With the help of her specialists, she was able to compose a simple note to everyone at home,” he wrote in an update Tuesday. “It said to tell everyone in Grass Valley ‘Hi,’ (signed) ‘MG.’

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

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