Homicide defendant’s competency at issue

Scales of justice
WLUK file photo.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) – Attorneys are meeting to determine whether a Wisconsin man is mentally competent to stand trial on charges of fatally shooting and dismembering a Minnesota man.

Kou Thao has been examined three times by doctors from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services at the request of defense attorneys. Marathon County Circuit Judge Mike Moran says there likely won’t be a fourth exam because state law limits the amount of time the court can spend assessing a defendant’s competency.

The Daily Herald Media says attorneys have not indicated why doctors have been unable to come to a conclusion about Thao’s competency. Lawyers are meeting Monday to discuss the issue.

The 26-year-old Thao is accused of shooting and dismembering 58-year-old Tong Pao Hang and taking the body parts to Milwaukee last spring.

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