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Homicide defendant found competent

Published On: Feb 04 2013 08:30:33 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 04 2013 10:00:41 AM CST
MILWAUKEE (AP) -

A Milwaukee man accused of killing his teenage neighbor has been found competent to proceed to trial.

A mental health expert who examined John Spooner testified Monday that the 76-year-old is competent to help with his defense.

Spooner is accused of fatally shooting 13-year-old Darius Simmons last May over an alleged theft. Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel says he's concerned that Spooner's health has deteriorated to the point that he may not make it to trial in May.

The victim's family pastor, Rev. Steve Jerbi, says the competency finding is what they expected. He says the Simmons family is still feeling a lot of pain and heartache over Darius' death.

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