Alleged murder found competent, but defense says no

4:25 PM, May 9, 2013   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- A Bangor woman facing a murder charge for killing her husband has been found competent to stand trial. Roxanne Jeskey is accused of torturing and murdering her husband with pliers, a box cutter, and a plastic bat back in 2011.

The defense claims Jeskey is not fit to stand trial and questions the judge's ruling. Jeskey's attorneys filed a motion shortly after the judge's ruling came in. They are requesting another competency hearing claiming there is not enough evidence to prove their client is fit to stand trial.

Judge Ann Murray found Jeskey understands the charges against her and has the ability to communicate with her defense team. But-- the judge did order Jeskey to be transferred to Riverview Psychiatric Center for another mental evaluation. That would be Jeskey's tenth evaluation over the last two years.

Defense Attorney Joe Baldacci said, "I think she recognizes that she requires psychiatric treatment. I think she recognizes that, but in order to rationally stand trial I think she needs the psychiatric treatment first before she can stand trial I don't think it can all happen at the same time."

During last month's competency hearing four experts testified, three of them agreeing that Jeskey suffers mental disabilities. According to Baldacci, although the judge recognizes the defendant's mental issues she does not see it as enough to keep the case from moving to trial.

Defense Attorney Joe Baldacci said, "In our opinion, they are severe enough that it goes to the heart of the issue of whether she can rationally assist in her own defense...In your own defense you have to make decisions like should I take the stand, should I take the fifth amendment, should I have a judge or a jury, what witnesses do I have to have. I mean, these are more complicated decisions."

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will review the judge's ruling and decide if it is justified. That decision will come in the next few weeks. It is possible that the court will decide to allow the case to go to trial as planned before making a decision.

The defense team will will continue preparing for both possible outcomes.

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