Neil ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation 


The woman charged with attempted murder of a California Highway Patrol officer last month has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before she enters a plea. 

Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson on March 13 postponed Haile Eden Neil’s court proceeding until the 25-year-old can be evaluated by Forensic Psychologist Don Stembridge – or another doctor if Stembridge is unavailable – to determine if she is competent to stand trial and aid in her own defense.  

Neil remains in custody at the Colusa County Jail and is accused of stabbing Williams California Highway Patrol CHP Officer Philip Martinsen in the back during an enforcement stop on Interstate 5 on Feb. 20, 2019. 

Neil was reportedly driving in excess of 100 mph with her hazard lights flashing when Martinsen initiated the traffic stop near Arbuckle. 

The CHP said Neil became belligerent during a field sobriety test and used a concealed knife to stab the officer.

Public Defender Albert Smith, who is defending Neil, requested the postponement of proceedings until his client is fully evaluated. He also requested and was granted access to the recording made by the CHP patrol vehicle’s dash camera. 

Neil’s competency hearing is scheduled for April 17 in Colusa County Superior Court. 

She is facing a penalty of nine years to life in prison if convicted of attempted murder, according to the California penal code. She is also charged with assault with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence. ■

Susan Meeker is the Editor and Reporter for the Pioneer Review. She started her position with the Pioneer Review in January 2017 as the Advertising Manager. Susan specializes in local crime, government reporting. She also loves covering the various topics and events in our county. You can send her a message at