Psychiatric test for suspect in New York subway death


NEW YORK–A woman accused of pushing an Indian-born man to his death in front of a New York City subway train told police she did it because she blamed Muslims for the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and because “I thought it would be cool,” prosecutors said at a court hearing.

Erika Menendez, 31, laughed so hard during her arraignment in criminal court Saturday night that Judge Gia Morris told her lawyer, “You’re going to have to have your client stop laughing.”

Menendez was charged with murder as a hate crime after she told police she spontaneously pushed Sunando Sen. She was held without bail and ordered to have a mental health exam.

Defense attorney Dietrich Epperson said Menendez’s behavior in court was no different from how she had been acting when he spoke to her privately, and he said his client didn’t really think the proceedings were funny.