Judge Christopher Wilson suspended criminal proceedings today against a Ferndale woman accused of viciously beating her 11-year-old daughter, who she apparently believed was possessed by demons.


Wilson suspended the case against Kimberly Ann Felder after her attorney, Deputy Conflict Counsel Marek Reavis, declared a doubt about her mental competence. Clinical psychologist Dr. Michael Ramirez was appointed to evaluate Felder, who is being held on $600,000 bail.

Witnesses to the June 16 incident on Centerville Beach said she had stripped her daughter naked and was hitting, biting and choking her while shoving sand in her eyes and mouth. She reportedly said she was trying to cast demons out of the child.

In court this morning Felder, 45, sat quietly and had a whispered conversation with her lawyer. She smiled and nodded during their talk. But it had taken awhile to get her down from the jail, with the court bailiff telling the judge that “she is not being very cooperative.”

According to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, Felder’s daughter suffered multiple injuries in the attack, including serious damage to her right ear. She was treated at a hospital for her wounds.

This morning Felder came into court wearing socks but no shoes, and when leaving the courtroom she stepped on the chain shackling her ankles. She apparently hurt her toe and cried out in pain, “My toe! Ow! Ow!”

A July 17 hearing was scheduled to review the psychologist’s report. The evaluation is being conducted to determine whether Felder is mentally competent enough to understand the proceedings against her and aid in her own defense.