Accused cleaver killer to be held in prison

Published: Sep. 25, 2019 at 8:23 PM EDT
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A Burlington man accused of murdering his wife with a meat cleaver will await trial behind bars.

That was the decision Wednesday in court.

At issue, was whether Aita Gurung should be held in a mental health treatment facility or in prison.

Police say Gurung killed his wife with a meat cleaver and attacked his mother-in-law in Burlington in 2017.

A court-ordered psychiatrist said Gurung was suffering from schizophrenia at the time. A state psychiatrist reviewed the decision and also found Gurung experienced psychotic behavior. And Gurung's attorney wanted him held in a mental health facility.

But the attorney general's office said Gurung should wait behind bars.

Wednesday, the court granted the state's motion and ordered Gurung held in prison without bail.

Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George had dropped the charges against Gurung in May, saying the state did not have evidence to show he was sane at the time.

But Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, recently raised concerns the insanity defense was being used too often and called on Vermont's attorney general's office to evaluate the decision-- and the charges were refiled.