Sanity phase of Milwaukee trial
MILWAUKEE (AP) – A lawyer for the Milwaukee man who killed his teenage neighbor says his client doesn’t appear to be mentally competent for the second phase of a two-part trial. Seventy-six-year-old John Henry Spooner was already convicted this week of first-degree intentional homicide. Now a jury is being asked to determine whether he was mentally ill at the time of the shooting. Spooner didn’t testify in the first phase. The judge asked him Thursday whether he wants to testify in the second phase. Spooner asked whether he’d be able to make a statement instead. His attorneys huddled with him behind closed doors for about 15 minutes. Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel says Spooner made comments that raised questions about whether he was competent to proceed. The judge called a recess to determine whether the mental-health professionals who were going to testify about Spooner could quickly re-evaluate him.
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