Alleged murderer back in court - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Alleged murderer back in court

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PENDLETON, OR.-- On June 15th Evan Freel faced a jury for the first time after the death of his five-month-old son, Dominic. That jury charged him with murder and criminal mistreatment, both in the first degree.  

Today, Freel was back in court, but not for long. His attorney, public defender Kara Davis, was quick to tell Judge Christopher Brauer, who has been presiding over Freel's case,  that she did not believe Freel was competent enough to represent himself in the courtroom. After looking into Freel's background, she was struck with the fact that he was on supplemental security income, a program that is generally meant for the elderly or the disabled. 

"I noticed that there were at least two times that he's been assessed for his full scale IQ," said Davis, "and both times his IQ level fell in the 60's. So there's significant cognitive impairment."

After explaining her concerns to Judge Brauer, Miss Davis has been allowed a few extra weeks to further examine Freel's ability to participate in his own hearing. Their next court date is set for 10:00 AM on August 11th.