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Competency trial delayed for man accused of murder


A McLennan county judge has delayed the competency trial for a man accused of murdering his estranged wife and kidnapping her daughter, calling court proceedings for the day a train wreck.

Normally judges rule in this type of hearings but Tuesday, in an unusual move, the defense requested a jury to decide whether or not Carnell Petetan Jr. is competent enough to stand trial for capital murder.

Petetan is accused of shooting his ex-wife Kimberly Farr Petetan to death and then kidnapping her nine year-old daughter in 2012. The girl was found with him the next day when he was pulled over for a traffic violation in Bryan.

Petetan's defense lawyers say he is mentally disabled and unable to understand what would be happening in court.

Before the competency trial could even begin Tuesday, the state motioned to have the defense expert witness dismissed.

Prosecutors, district attorney Able Reyna and Greg Davis argued defense witness Dr. Ollie Seay didn't turn over all the documents she was supposed to that were required by the states qualified protective order.  They also argued that because she relied on the work of past doctors who performed interviews, evaluations and tests to form her opinion, it was hearsay and shouldn't be allowed.

The defense says that's allowed under the law and that it's standard procedure for doctors to use the test results and notes of others in their field.

Prosecutors later asked the judge for more time to evaluate that motion saying the may withdraw it Wednesday morning before the trial begins.

The judge ordered the defense to hand over the all notes and reports to give the prosecution time to prepare for a cross examination. He then postponed the trial and his ruling on whether or not to allow the defenses only witness to testify.

The judge apologized to the jury for wasting their time and told all the attorneys to make sure they were prepared to start the competency trial Wednesday morning.

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