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Aberrant RPG - Woman Who Wants To Become Nova Sues State Over Competence

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<font size="4">Woman Who Wants To Become Nova Sues State Over Competence</font>

by Robert Blackwood

N! Prime Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- A woman whose repeated efforts to erupt into novahood caused her to be declared a danger to herself and others has filed suit to have herself declared competent and released from state custody.

Evelyn Crane, 37, has been in custody at the Illinois Psychiatric Hospital at Rockland since July 11, when Cook County Circuit Court Judge James Rand declared her a danger to herself and others.

The decision came while Crane was still recuperating from first- and second-degree burns she suffered after dousing herself with gasoline at a Chicago southside convenience store June 24 and igniting it with a lighter. Bystanders quickly smothered the flames with their coats, over Crane's protests.

Experts who appeared at the July hearing testified that Crane's history of potentially deadly stunts indicated a suicidal disregard for her own safety.

Since mental health records are kept sealed, particulars of Crane's lawsuit, filed Monday, are not available. Experts familiar with her case, though, presume that Crane will pursue the same strategy defense used in the June hearing.

In that trial, public defender Mark Cumisky argued that Crane's acts were attempts to spur herself to erupt -- manifest nova powers -- not self-destructive impulses.

Cumisky is expected to call as a witness Mikhail Sergeyevich Popov, a.k.a. Eclipse, who erupted under stress during taping of the N! cable network show "Under Fire."

The June immolation incident was Crane's sixth such attempt; others have involved racing on foot through Chicago rush-hour traffic, and an attempted leap from the eighth floor of the hospital where she was recuperating from being hit by a car in that attempt.

Crane, who is indigent, cannot afford a Mazarin clinic's fee to be screened for nova latency, which ranges from $2,500-$5,000, depending on the clinic and the client's ability to pay.

Cumisky argued Crane would not have to engage in such dangerous behavior if the state should pay for testing of indigent people who show signs of possessing a Mazarin-Rashoud Node, the neural structure believed responsible for the manifestation of Nova's powers.

Crane suffers from chronic migraine headaches, which she reportedly believes is evidence she possesses a node.

The court rejected the argument, saying that becoming a Nova is an act of God, not a basic right, and the state had no compelling interest in spending tax dollars to help people do so.

Judge Rand also denied a defense motion to have Crane tested for latency in order to demonstrate that her motive was not delusional.

A hearing date before the 12th Circuit Court of Appeals will be set next week.

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