Judge Rules Appomattox Shooting Suspect Competent

December 17, 2010

A Virginia man accused of killing his sister and seven other people has been declared competent to stand trial.

Appomattox Circuit Judge Richard Blanton issued the ruling Friday during a hearing for 41-year-old Christopher Speight.

Speight was charged following the shooting at the Appomattox house he shared with his sister and her family. He surrendered on Jan. 20 after an 18-hour manhunt.

Speight was sent to a state mental hospital for treatment in June after a psychologist found him too mentally ill to assist his lawyers or stand trial. During Friday's hearing, defense lawyers did not object to the hospital's finding that Speight was competent to assist in his defense.

A trial date hasn't been set, but another hearing was scheduled for Jan. 4.

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