Dale Eaton To Undergo Competency Evaluation
Proceedings on whether a convicted murderer from Wyoming should get the death penalty have been put on hold, while the state court tries to determine, if he's competent to stand trial again.
Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey has ordered that Dale Eaton undergo a competency evaluation at the request of the Natrona County District Attorney's Office.
Eaton was convicted and sentenced to death in 2004, for the first degree murder of 18-year old Lisa Marie Kimmell of Billings, Montana, but in November 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson of Cheyenne, overturned the death sentence portion, stating that Eaton's defense team back in 2004, did not present proper evidence and/or testimony to the jury in Eaton's defense, to convince jurors to spare his life.
Judge Johnson cited testimony from various medical and psychological professionals that Eaton was delusional, and psychotic under pressure.
One doctor testified that he saw a brain that doesn't work effectively.
From that ruling, the Natrona County DA's office put in a request for a competency evaluation for Eaton.
Judge Forgey granted the request, and also allowed defense council to be present when the evaluation is performed.
Further court proceedings have been suspended until the evaluation is complete.
Both sides are still waiting for a ruling from Judge Johnson, as to whether the prosecution has lost standing to seek the death penalty against Eaton again, by waiting too long to appoint defense lawyers.
Eaton's defense attorneys are not challenging the murder conviction...just the death sentence portion.