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Elderly shooting suspect in Darius Simmons case to get mental exam

the Associated Press

Photo: John Spooner

Elderly shooting suspect in Darius Simmons case to get mental exam

CREATED Jan. 14, 2013

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A 76-year-old Milwaukee man accused of shooting and killing his teenage neighbor will get a mental exam to determine whether he's competent to proceed to trial.

John Spooner was in court Monday for a motion hearing. He's accused of killing 13-year-old Darius Simmons last May over an alleged theft.

Defense attorney Steve McGaver requested a change of venue, arguing that pre-trial publicity would make it difficult for Spooner to receive a fair trial. Judge Jeffrey Wagner denied that motion.

McGaver also told the judge there was reason to believe Spooner might not be competent to proceed. The judge ordered that Spooner be evaluated by a mental-health professional.

Online court records say the doctor's report is due Feb. 4. The trial date was also pushed back two months, to May 6.

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