ALFRED — A judge is considering whether an Acton woman accused of fatally stabbing her former husband in 2017 can withdraw her guilty plea and go to trial instead.

Kandee Weyland Collind, now 49, was charged with murder in the death of Scott Weyland, 42. Police said she attacked him in February 2017 after a judge awarded him custody of their two children.

Scott Weyland, in an August 2016 photo on Facebook

She pleaded guilty to that charge in August 2018, and her agreement included a prison sentence of 32 years. But two months later, her attorneys filed a motion to withdraw that plea. Collind has claimed she did not take her psychological medication that day and was not thinking clearly.

Superior Court Justice Wayne Douglas heard arguments on the motion Monday afternoon. There is no timetable for him to make a decision.

Defense attorney Molly Butler Bailey pointed to certain moments at the plea hearing when Collind told the judge she had not taken her medications that day and when she needed to confer with her attorneys. She said Collind left a message at her office within days of the guilty plea saying she wanted to withdraw it.

She also called a psychologist to testify that Collind has limited cognitive abilities and a number of mental health diagnoses, making her prone to say what she thought the judge wanted to hear during her plea even if she did not understand what was happening.

The lawyer said she does not believe Collind understood the critical element of the murder charge — that she intentionally and knowingly caused Weyland’s death.

“There’s a statement that she has made to me many times, ‘I’m guilty, but I’m not guilty,’” Butler Bailey said. “I think that’s where the confusion lies, I think that’s what it comes down to. There’s not a question in this case that she caused the death of Scott Weyland. The question is what her condition of mind was at the time.”

Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam asked a jail employee to review medication records that indicated Collind received her medications as prescribed on the days around her plea hearing.

She said Collind was animated, engaged and appeared to understand what she was doing at her plea hearing, and she described recorded phone calls from the jail in which Collind said she thought she could get a lesser sentence at trial.

Elam also asked the judge to consider that the two young children who witnessed the stabbing would have to testify at a trial. She said they do not yet know about the motion to withdraw the guilty plea.

“My hope is that this motion will be denied, and maybe they’ll never have to know that their mother reneged on her promise to plead guilty, they’ll never have to worry about having to testify against her,” Elam said.

The hearing was the second on this issue. At a brief appearance in December, the prosecutor indicated the state would seek a significantly longer sentence if a jury convicted Collind of murder at trial.

“The sentence for the conviction to this charge is 25 years to life,” Douglas said. “I would urge you to think carefully about this and talk to your lawyers about that.”

The confrontation on Feb. 22, 2017, was apparently sparked by a letter Collind received after the couple’s divorce was finalized just days earlier, informing her that a judge awarded primary physical custody of their two children to her ex-husband, according to court records.

Earlier that day, Collind told her mother that she wanted her ex-husband dead, according to the affidavit prepared by State Police Detective Corey Pike.

She drove to Weyland’s mother’s home on Milton Mills Road in Acton later that day with her two children – ages 7 and 11 at the time – in the car and crashed into the back of a pickup truck in the driveway, according to the affidavit.

The son told police he saw his father holding an unopened pocket knife, and realized his father had been stabbed when he saw him covered in blood and a wound on his chest, according to the affidavit.

Both Weyland and his son called 911 for help. The knife was later found in the snow near the house.

When police officers arrived, they found Collind “hysterically crying” and giving CPR to her ex-husband. She told an officer that she had stabbed Weyland in the chest and that he had also pulled out a knife, according to the affidavit.

Weyland was taken to the hospital, where he died several hours later. Collind was treated for minor lacerations and was found to have a small knife stuck in her abdomen, according to the affidavit.

The Journal Tribune reported last year that she pleaded guilty in part because she did not want to force the young children to testify against her.

“She wanted to spare her children the trauma of a trial, which I think is the honorable and correct decision,” her attorney, Clifford Strike, said in August. “She is at peace with her decision.”

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