Dubuque man not competent for murder & sexual assault trial - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque man not competent for murder & sexual assault trial

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It'll be a while before 20-year-old Helmon Betwell goes on trial for murder, but that's if he ever even goes on trial.

Police say last September, Betwell sexually assaulted and killed 66-year old Nancy Krapfl.

Now several months later in court, officials are figuring out whether Betwell is mentally fit for trial. Both the defense and prosecution say he needs mental help. "The parties are in agreement that Mr. Betwell has been...is not competent to stand trial, and that he is a candidate for restoration competency," said Assistant Dubuque County Attorney, Alisha Stach.

So, what is next for Betwell? His attorney says he'll be sent to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. While there, he'll undergo treatment to help restore his mental health. He'll be educated and subject to more evaluations.

"For purposes of receiving that treatment, he'll return to competency and continued to be stayed until such time Mr. Betwell becomes competent to stand trial," added Stach.

Betwell could be at the facility for one year or longer.

His attorney says he might not ever be "restored."

The judge says further court proceedings are pending until Betwell can understand and participate in his defense. 

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