The attorney representing the Parkersburg man who allegedly shot and killed Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas has filed paperwork asking that his client be declared incompetent to stand trial. Bob Brammer of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office says the attorney for Mark Becker filed the information today.
Brammer says the filing is called "an application to determine competency" and he says it asks the court to suspend further proceedings and determine if Becker is competent to stand trial. Brammer says the defense had indicated earlier they would be using this line of defense and this formally puts it before the court. The filing indicates a psychological evaluation has been done by a doctor hired by the defense.
Brammer says the application indicates the expert has done a psychological evaluation and that expert does not think that Becker is competent to stand trial. Brammer says prosecutors will likely seek their own opinion of Becker’s competency. Brammer says they fully expect to ask the court to authorize a second separate psychological evaluation.
He says if the court finds probably cause that Becker’s competency is in question, then the court would set a hearing to determine if Becker is indeed competent to stand trial. Becker is charged with first-degree murder in the June 24th shooting death of Thomas. Becker is being held in the Cerro Gordo County Jail and his trial is scheduled for September 15.