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Eau Claire (WQOW) - An accused murderer has been found incompetent to stand trial, at least for now.
James E. Olson is charged with first degree intentional homicide in the death of Paul Oberle.
Oberle was found dead in the backyard of his Eau Claire home in June, after being hit in the head. Olson was charged after a crow bar was found hidden in his house just down the street, and Oberle's blood was found on his pants.
Olson was in court this morning. A psychologist finished a mental competency evaluation back in July to determine whether or not he is able to understand court proceedings. The psychologist found that Olson suffers from delusions, where he believes the county, police, and hospitals are conspiring against him and are electronically monitoring him and his neighbors.
"On Mr. Olson's behalf, he wants me to re-iterate that he does not believe he has a mental illness, and he does believe that he and the neighborhood have been under seige by these electronic devices for a long time, and that he's upset that the authorities have not done anything about that," says Olson's defense attorney Mary Liedtke.
Eau Claire County Judge William Gabler agreed with a psychologist's findings that Olson is incompetent to go forward with court proceedings. However, Judge Gabler also agreed that he could become competent after being treated. Judge Gabler committed Olson to the State Department of Health Services to undergo treatment.
"Based on the medications and the treatment that he's receiving, if doctors determine that he has regained his competency, then the criminal case will pick up right where it has left off and we will proceed with the criminal case at that time," says Eau Claire County District Attorney Brian Wright.
If, after a year, Olson is still not competent to stand trial, there will be another court proceeding to determine what's next.
Eau Claire (WQOW) - Reporter Megan Wiebold was in court today for the competency hearing of James E Olson. He's charged with first degree intentional homicide in the death of Paul Oberle.
A psychologist who has done an evaluation of Olson, says he is not competent to stand trial. The psychologist believes if Olson was at an inpatient facility and treated with medication, he could regain competency.
The judge found Olson incompetent to stand trial and ordered him to be committed to the state for an undetermined amount of time to the state department of health. He will be given medication and follow-up checks will be done.
We will have more on this story tonight at 5, 6 & 10.
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