Two people have appeared at the High Court in Glasgow charged with the murder of a woman in a west Fife village last year.
Claire Turnbull, 36, was pronounced dead at the scene following a disturbance in a flat in Rintoul Avenue, Blairhall, on Friday October 5 2018.
Police subsequently arrested and charged Aaron Donald, 28, and Laura McMurdo, 29, both of Blairhall, Dunfermline, with Ms Turnbull’s murder and the pair have been in custody ever since.
At a preliminary hearing in Glasgow on Wednesday, judge Lady Stacey granted an order which will see Donald’s mental health assessed at the state hospital at Carstairs.
Donald appeared on charges of murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice in relation to Ms Turnbull’s death.
Prosecutors asked the judge to impose the assessment order under section 52B of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 after reviewing medical reports.
A further hearing has been scheduled for April 9 to determine what course of action the Crown will take following that assessment.
Meanwhile, McMurdo tendered a not guilty plea and was released on bail with standard conditions.
Defence solictor advocate Gordon Markie said that his client remained “neutral” with regard to her co-accused’s status, but argued that the assessment order represented a “material change of circumstances” and applied for bail.
Lady Stacey granted the application, although McMurdo has been ordered to appear at the High Court when the case calls again on April 9.
She was bailed to an address in High Valleyfield.
Friends of Ms Turnbull, who was originally from Methil, described her as a “lost soul”, having lost a baby daughter to cot death two years ago.
Police were called to a first floor flat in Blairhall’s Rintoul Avenue on the evening of October 5 and Ms Turnbull was pronounced dead at the scene.
Following the two arrests, detectives said they were satisfied that it had been an isolated incident and were not looking for anyone else in connection with Ms Turnbull’s death.