Alleged cleaver killer found not competent to stand trial

Published: Jan. 2, 2020 at 6:25 PM EST
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A judge has found a Burlington man accused in the 2017 killing of his wife with a meat cleaver not competent to stand trial.

The defense argued that Aita Gurung's mental health has deterorated since he was sent to prison in September. He was found competent to stand trial when he was first charged in 2017. Chittenden County States Attorney Sarah George then dropped the case against Gurung this spring after experts said he was insane at the time and not competent to stand trial. But that charge was refiled by the Attorney General's office at the request of the Governor.

"Competency is a dynamic condition that can change overtime, so I think how we address going forward in terms of the treatment he may need are relevant questions, but the fact remains this is a murder case," said Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan.

The criminal charges still remain and Gurung is expected back in court for a hospitalization hearing this month.