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Reid found competent again

August 28, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - For the second time, Albert Reid has been found competent to stand trial on Oct. 5 on criminal homicide charges in the deaths of his estranged wife and her daughter.

Franklin County President Judge John R. Walker issued the ruling Wednesday, based on testimony at a July 14 competency hearing.

Reid, 49, of Biglerville, Pa., is charged with two counts of criminal homicide in the Dec. 27, 1996, shooting deaths of Carla Reid, 36, and 14-year-old Deidre Moore at their Sollenberger Road home outside Chambersburg.

Five of Reid's other children were in the house when the shootings occurred. Some were sleeping in the same beds as the victims, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

"I'm not surprised in light of the fact that the psychiatrists said their opinion had not changed," Franklin County District Attorney John F. Nelson said Thursday of Walker's ruling.

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In the first hearing, two psychiatrists said Reid was competent, while a third said he was delusional.

"I have doubts about his competency," said Public Defender Robert J. Trambley. He and co-counsel Stephen D. Kulla asked for a competency hearing, saying Reid was not cooperative in preparing the case.

In April, a court-appointed psychiatrist examined Reid with defense and prosecution psychiatrists present. A hearing was held in May, during which Walker ruled Reid was able to assist in his own defense.

A second examination was ordered because Reid's attorney for the competency proceedings, Michael J. Toms, was not present at the first examination.

Reid twice refused to submit to medical tests requested by his attorneys. A second psychiatric examination was given on July 14, followed that day by the second competency hearing.

Reid was arrested the same day the shootings were discovered. At the time, he was awaiting trial on charges in the sexual molestation of Moore.

Nelson has filed notice with the court that he will seek the death penalty if the defendant is convicted of first-degree murder.

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