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Results of psychiatric exam on South Buffalo woman awaited in Cheektowaga murder case

A psychiatric forensic examination is being conducted on a South Buffalo woman accused of killing a Cheektowaga man with whom she had been romantically involved.

Debra Haynes-Thomas, 47, of Cazenovia Street, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Monday in Cheektowaga Town Court, but the case was adjourned because the forensic exam has not yet been completed, according to John J. Gilmour, her court-appointed attorney.

“We expect it will take two to three weeks to complete,” Gilmour said Monday.

Haynes-Thomas, who is being held without bail in the Erie County Holding Center, has been charged with second-degree murder in the Nov. 14 slaying of Peter G. Wiepert, 56, in his Princess Drive home where he had lived alone. A source familiar with the case said he was beaten to death in his sleep. Authorities say “a household item” was used in the attack.

On Nov. 15, Monroe County sheriff’s deputies were summoned to a Rochester-area hotel after receiving a call that a woman there had tried to harm herself and was in need of medical attention. Deputies took Haynes-Thomas to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment and an evaluation.

Cheektowaga investigators subsequently interviewed her at the hospital. After she was medically cleared, Haynes-Thomas was taken back to Cheektowaga on Wednesday for arraignment by Town Justice Paul S. Piotrowski, who ordered the forensic examination.

Haynes-Thomas, authorities said, had gone to Rochester because she had a friend there.

Gilmour said he is awaiting the results of the examination before making any comments on the case.

Wiepert, who apparently was trying to end the relationship, was found in his home after Cheektowaga police received a call to check on him at about 6 p.m. Nov. 14. He was the co-owner of Tri-Star Auto Repairs on Genesee Street in Cheektowaga for nearly three decades.

Haynes-Thomas is scheduled to return to court Dec. 17.

email: lmichel@buffnews.com