ANGOLA, IN— The man accused of raping and murdering a 82-year-old Lake James woman has been granted a competency evaluation.
In in addition to the original charge of Murder in the June stabbing death of Wilma Ball, 29 year old Matthew Hoover has been formally charged with Rape, Burglary, and Abuse of a Corpse
According to the Steuben County Prosecutor’s office, Hoover qualifies for the death penalty or life without parole. The prosecutor said he is still reviewing to determine if he would seek either.
On Monday, a Steuben County judge granted Hoover’s motion for a competency evaluation after his defense attorney “alleged an insanity defense.”
The Prosecutor’s office says the Defendant will now be evaluated by two mental health professionals as to competency and their opinion on insanity.
If Hoover is found competent, the case will go to trial. If he is found incompetent, the office said he will be placed into a “secure state hospital until he regains competency.”
The insanity plea will be determined by the jury which will choose either: guilty, not guilty, guilty but mentally ill, and not guilty be reason of insanity.
Mrs. Ball was found stabbed to death in her lakefront home along the first basin of Lake James on June 23rd
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