OVIEDO, Fla. - The defense attorney for the woman who is accused of fatally shooting her daughter in their Oviedo home before trying to kill herself, told WFTV reporter Tim Barber that she had been Baker Acted in 2011.
The attorney, Brian Bieber, said Sujatha Guduru, 44, was able to get a gun because the information about Guduru's hospitalization was never entered in a federal database.
The doctor did an involuntary evaluation of mental health, yet the state does not require that information to be entered into the database.
But, the attorney believes the doctor should have alerted the system.
Had it been entered in the system, the database would have alerted the store, where she bought the alleged murder weapon several weeks before the shooting.
Bieber said Guduru had several psychotic breaks and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after she witnessed a security guard get shot at a Houston Walgreens.
Barber looked into a house bill that deals with guns and mental health.
The bill states that if someone is involuntarily hospitalized their information must be put into a federal database, but Bieber said it does not include involuntary mental evaluations.
Bieber said he is not pointing any fingers and that the whole system is broken.
“Had that check and balance been put in place then this incident in 2014 very well may have never happened,” Bieber said.
Officials at the hospital where Guduru was given the mental evaluation said it may take until next week until they talk to their legal department about their policy for reporting people to the federal databse.
According to state statute hospital officials may not have been able to report Guduru anyway because she was only given an involuntary mental evaluation.
Guduru entered a written plea of not guilty. Her attorney is claiming she was legally insane at the time of the shooting.
Detectives said Guduru sent her brother, Prasad Chittaluru, an email on Jan. 27, threatening to kill herself and take her 17-year-old daughter's life, so her daughter wouldn't be alone.
"When my mom checked her, she said they were sleeping," said Chittaluru. "They wouldn't answer. I was getting worried."
Chittaluru told detectives he then drove to his sister's home and found her and his niece in the master bedroom.
Guduru is charged with first-degree murder.