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Woman accused of stabbing IU student on bus declared competent to stand trial

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Bloomington woman charged with a federal hate crime for allegedly stabbing a Chinese-American IU student on a city bus in January of last year has been found competent to stand trial this summer.

At Wednesday’s hearing at the federal courthouse in Indianapolis, a judge accepted the competency findings for 57-year-old Billie Davis, ruling she is competent to understand court proceedings and can assist her lawyers in preparing a defense.

Davis requested the competency evaluation in September, and it was completed in December by a forensic psychiatrist in Texas.

The judge also set a new trial date for the hate crime case: June 24. Davis was originally set to stand before a jury in March. A final pretrial hearing has been scheduled for June 5.

If convicted, Davis could spend the rest of her life in federal prison.

According to court documents filed in Monroe County shortly after the Jan. 11 attack, Davis admitted to stabbing the Chinese-American IU student in the head several times with a pocket knife. Davis told investigators she committed the stabbing because the woman was Chinese.

“One less person to blow up our country,” court documents say Davis told police.

Surveillance video on the city bus reportedly captured the entire incident. Police say Davis stabbed the woman about seven times and that the two women had no prior interaction on the bus.

Davis then got off, threw out the pocket knife she used to attack the woman, and was located and arrested by police a short time later.

She was indicted by a federal grand jury in April. The original state charges, which were attempted murder, aggravated battery, and battery with a deadly weapon, were all dropped when the federal hate crime case was opened.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Indiana is one of just four states in the country without any type of hate crime law, alongside Georgia, Utah, and Wyoming.

The federal government defines a hate crime as any crime motivated by bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.

There were at least 174 reported bias-motivated crimes in Indiana in 2022, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice. Only 60% of law enforcement agencies provided hate crime data, meaning the number of reported crimes could be higher.

Most crimes were against people, rather than property or society.