A judge today ruled the Parkersburg man accused of shooting legendary high school football coach Ed Thomas to death is competent to stand trial [Compentency Ruling PDF]. A trial date for Mark Becker will be set later.
Becker is accused of first degree murder. Witnesses say Becker walked into onto Aplington-Parkersburg school grounds early June 24, 2009, and shot Thomas at point-blank range in a temporary weight-lifting room set up for the football team.
The judge ruled Becker is able to “appreciate” the charge against him, understand what will happen in his upcoming trial and assist in his defense.
During a competency hearing last month, two psychiatrists who had examined Becker said he suffers from paranoid-schizophrena and hallicinates. Becker, a former Aplington-Parkersburg football player, has a court-appointed attorney for his upcoming trial and she indicated several weeks ago that she would argue her client was insane at the time of the murder.