Man competent for trial on rape, murder charges, judge says
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) —
A judge says a Dubuque man is competent to stand trial on charges that he raped and killed a woman.
The Telegraph Herald reports that Judge Monica Ackley said Wednesday that Helmon Betwell can be tried on murder and other charges. Prosecutors say he attacked 66-year-old Nancy Krapfl on Sept. 1, 2015, as she was walking in Dubuque. Betwell's trial is scheduled to begin July 25.
In June Betwell was declared incompetent. He was found competent in December, after treatment at a state facility in Coralville. A subsequent evaluation by a defense expert said Betwell has an intellectual disability that prevents him from understanding the legal proceedings. The judge said in her ruling Wednesday that subnormal intelligence is just one consideration in a competency decision.