Case against Kansas City woman in brutal killing of 6-year-old son to resume: Judge

Note: This story contains a graphic description of violence.

A Jackson County Circuit Court judge ordered that the criminal case against a Kansas City woman charged in the gruesome killing of her 6-year-old son in 2022 resume after she was found to be mentally fit to proceed.

Tasha Haefs, 37, faces first-degree murder and armed criminal action charges for the killing of her son, Karvel Stevens. The case against her had been put on hold after she had been found to be not competent to stand trial in 2022. Competency is a legal distinction that describes a person’s ability to understand the proceedings against them and assist in their own defense.

Haefs went through several months of treatment, and the state’s Department of Mental Health filed a mental-health report and a request to proceed with the case last month.

In a ruling Friday, Judge Jerri Zhang wrote that she had reviewed a finding by the department that Haefs was no longer incompetent and ruled that she was mentally fit to proceed, noting that neither Haefs nor her attorney had requested another evaluation or contested the department’s findings.

“Proceedings shall resume as scheduled,” Zhang wrote.

An arraignment hearing is scheduled for April 29.

Police forced entry into Haefs’ home on Kansas City’s southeast side and found the decapitated body of her son in February 2022. Authorities allege she admitted to killing him in a bathtub.

The Star’s Kendrick Calfee and Anna Spoerre contributed reporting to this story.