LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) - The story shocked the community, when a little girl was killed and dumped in a garbage can. Monday, the teen accused of killing five-year-old Isabella Tennant will be back inside a courtroom.
Earlier this month, John Freeman Jr., the man accused of strangling Tennant, underwent several days of mental examinations to see if he is psychologically competent to stand trial. Monday, he will be in court for a pretrial for the statements he made to police.
John Freeman Jr. is accused of killing Isabella "Bella" Tennant last August while she was at her great grandmother's home on 6th Street in Niagara Falls. Prosecutors say Freeman, who was considered a family friend, suffocated the little girl when he was left alone to watch her.
Bella's mom Crystal Walker said, "And when we were looking for her, we went straight to his house because we knew he was there on the computer and he said 'Oh I left and she was coloring, and didn't even ask to help us look for her."
Earlier this month, Robert Viola, Freeman's attorney, told prosecutors and Judge Matthew Murphy, that Freeman will be going through a psychological examination. This likely means the legal team is taking steps to present an insanity defense.
Meantime, Freeman's friend Tyler Best is charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence. Police say Freeman and Best put Bella's body in a garbage can in a nearby alley.
In Memoriam | PHOTOS: Remembering Isabella "Bella" Sarah Tennant
Freeman will be back in court Monday morning for what's called a huntley hearing. Basically, it's a pretrial that will review the way police obtained statements from Freeman.
It is also expected the results of the testing will be revealed soon and how that possibly changes the legal proceedings going forward. It's expected the testing has pushed Freeman's trial back to late spring or early summer.
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