Le Center murder, arson suspect found incompetent to stand trial

Le Center murder, arson suspect found incompetent to stand trial

LE CENTER, Minn. (KEYC) — Hardy Robert Wills-Traxler stands accused of his father’s death and subsequent arson at the scene.

It’s alleged he stabbed his father 64-year-old Bruce Alan Traxler after an argument on Jan. 24. In Le Sueur County District Court Friday afternoon, Wills-Traxler appeared to review the results of his mental competency evaluation.

The 25-year-old Le Center man was joined in court by his attorneys, Richard Ohlenberg and Sarah Perlmutter, and prosecutor Daniel Vlieger, the Minnesota Assistant Attorney General.

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At his last hearing in January, Wills-Traxler was issued a court-ordered mental competency evaluation to determine if he understands his alleged crimes and if he has the cognitive ability to assist his lawyers in his defense.

Friday’s review hearing was set to analyze the findings of that evaluation, which was completed on March 25.

While the details of the mental health evaluation were not made public, the court ultimately found Wills-Traxler to be incompetent to stand trial.

All criminal proceedings are now suspended pending his return to competency. In the meantime, Wills-Traxler will remain in custody at the Le Sueur County Jail until a suitable mental health facility will take him in.

Judge Patrick Biren said the case will be referred to a civil commitment court.

Another review hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 8, where the court will analyze the cognitive progress Wills-Traxler has made during his time in an appropriate mental institution.

Wills-Traxler will remain in the institution until then or until he returns to competency. If he is found competent before Oct. 8, he will be sent back to jail until the hearing set for this fall.

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