Cheryl Busch in court with public defender Greg LaForge

A judge Wednesday ruled for a second time that Cheryl Busch, the San Benito County woman accused of shooting and killing her 19-month-old daughter in 2008, is mentally competent to stand trial.

Judge Steven Sanders on Wednesday morning ruled that Busch, 41, is mentally fit for a trial setting. The hearing was scheduled to consider setting a date for a competency trial, but Busch’s attorney acknowledged an expert reviewed a recent report on Busch and that “nothing changed” compared to the latest finding that she is competent.

The trial, expected to last 10 days, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 27 at the San Benito County Courthouse, with a trial confirmation set for 9 a.m. Jan. 5.

Busch is accused of shooting her young daughter with a .357 Magnum in November 2008 on her family’s Shore Road property. She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Previously, Busch spent nearly nine months in Patton State Hospital after she had been admitted there March 24, 2010. After she took part in a trial competency program at the hospital, a judge in May ruled she is mentally competent for trial.

About three months ago, her attorney, public defender Greg LaForge, filed another motion contending she is mentally incompetent for a jury trial.

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