Hart Competent, Will Argue Insanity - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hart Competent, Will Argue Insanity

Posted: Updated:

PASCO, Wash. - The attorney defending a man accused of second-degree murder says Joseph Hart was insane when he stabbed his roommate.

Pasco police arrested Hart in March 2012 at the Sundance Mobile Home Park. Prosecutors say Hart stabbed Rodger Lincoln, 53, several times in the front yard of the trailer they shared.

Lourdes Health Network owns the trailer and eight other residences and provides the homes to mental health patients.

Hart's trial has been on hold while state psychiatrists and a private physician evaluated his mental fitness. Both have determined Hart is competent to help his attorney prepare for this trial in October.

Defense attorney Scott Johnson told Superior court Judge Carrie Runge Tuesday morning that Hart's defense will be insanity.

Johnson says he and his client haven't decided whether they will ask for a jury trial or let the judge consider the second-degree murder charge.

If convicted, Hart, 30, faces a life prison sentence under the Three Strikes Law. Hart has served jail time in the past ten years for robbery and for assault.  

HD DOPPLER 6i
/