ST. GEORGE – A man accused of attempted murder in 2012 has once more been declared mentally competent by state officials and returned to Southern Utah for court proceedings.
Craig Manwill Bennett, 34, appeared with attorney Ed Flint in 5th District Court Monday morning. Bennett, who is accused of attempting to kill a man with a shotgun in November 2012, has been to the Utah State Hospital twice in relation to the case.
Officials at the State Hospital declared Bennett competent and recommended he continue to take medications and attend therapy, Flint said.
Bennett, however, quit taking his medications early last year, which resulted in his being sent to the State Hospital a second time, he said.
Flint told the court he had not yet had the chance to speak with his client and asked for another week before a new round of hearings begins. Judge Eric Ludlow scheduled the next hearing for March 1.
Bennett faces a first-degree felony charge for attempted murder, as well as two class A misdemeanors in an unrelated incident that occurred in September 2015. In the latest incident, Bennett allegedly threw objects at a police officer and nurse while incarcerated.
It will need to be determined if Bennett was or wasn’t in a competent state of mind when the incident occurred, Flint said.
Bennett is accused of attempting to kill a man with a shotgun on the night of Nov. 27, 2012. The incident happened at a trailer park in the Harrisburg community along Interstate 15. The victim, a 48-year-old trailer park resident, was flown to University Medical Center in Las Vegas in critical condition and ultimately survived the altercation.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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