Defense seeks competency hearing for Missouri murder suspect
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Defense attorneys are seeking a competency hearing for a 22-year-old woman charged in the 2012 shooting death of a man in southwestern Missouri.
The Springfield News-Leader reports that a judge is considering the request after defense witness Kent Franks testified Thursday that Marya VonBrandt isn't competent to stand trial. She is charged with second-degree murder in the November 2012 shooting death of 41-year-old Kevin Engh.
Franks, a psychologist in Springfield, said he interviewed VonBrandt several times in the years she has been behind bars. He said VonBrandt was competent to stand trial when he interviewed her in 2013, but her mental health has declined since then.
Two mental health experts for the prosecution disagreed, saying they interviewed VonBrandt and believe she is making up many of her symptoms.