Man Accused Of Killing Woman In Nursing Home Declared Incompetent For Trial

JIM THORPE, Pa. (AP) – The case against a man accused in the 2013 death of a Pennsylvania nursing home resident is delayed because a judge says he’s incompetent to stand trial.

The Standard-Speaker in Hazleton reports a Carbon County judge on Tuesday found 55-year-old Carl Smith incompetent due to dementia. Smith has been behind bars for about three years and has been ordered to a mental health hospital.

Smith is accused of shoving 85-year-old Margaret Lechleitner to the floor at Weatherwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Weatherly. She hit her head and died the next day. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter, simple assault and reckless endangerment.

The defense argued at Smith’s last court appearance that he’s unable to assist in his own defense.

Smith will now undergo annual competency evaluations.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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