Vt. mother held in psychiatric ward freed by judge

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont woman held against her will for more than five weeks at a psychiatric ward after her estranged husband killed their son and then hanged himself has been ordered released by a judge.

The Burlington Free Press reports (http://bfpne.ws/1jMHYKp) that Vermont Superior Court Judge Kevin Griffin ordered that 48-year-old Christina Schumacher be allowed to leave Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. She has been at the hospital since Dec. 19, a day after 14-year-old Gunnar Schumacher and 49-year-old Ludwig Schumacher were found dead in an Essex apartment.

Griffin says he disagreed with a doctor's assessment before Schumacher arrived for a regular appointment the day after the murder-suicide that she needed to admit herself or be taken into custody.

It was unclear whether Schumacher had left the facility Friday.

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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