Judge sets date for Morales competency hearing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Judge sets date for Morales competency hearing

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PASCO, WA- Defense attorneys can't convince a judge to have a state psychiatrist take another look at a man accused of murder.

County jail officers brought Jose Garcia Morales into court Thursday morning in a wheel chair. Morales sat at the defense table with his eyes closed, unresponsive to his attorney and interpreter. Doctors determined Morales competent to stand trial last year, but public defender Moe Spencer says Morales continues to be "uncommunicative."

Superior Court Judge Carrie Runge has set a competency hearing for early March when attorneys will argue whether Morales should stand trial for murdering a man and critically wounding his wife in their Pasco home in December 2009.

His brother, Ramon Garcia Morales, is also accused of the murder. His trial is set begin next month. 

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