State report says slaying suspect competent to stand trial - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

State report says slaying suspect competent to stand trial

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) -- A report from state experts says a man charged with sexually assaulting and killing a woman in Dubuque is competent to stand trial.

Helmon Betwell has been under treatment at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville since August. In June a judge declared Betwell was incompetent and ordered him to undergo treatment.

Betwell has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, sexual abuse and burglary. Prosecutors say he attacked 66-year-old Nancy Krapfl on Sept. 1 last year as she was walking in Dubuque.

A Betwell attorney said at a hearing Monday that the defense team is arranging an independent competency evaluation for January. The judge said she'll set a hearing on whether to resume criminal proceedings after she receives the defense expert's report.

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