Cold Case Slaying Defendant Incompetent for Trial in MN
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A judge has determined a defendant from South Dakota accused in a 1974 slaying in Minnesota isn’t competent to stand trial.
New DNA testing led to the arrest of Algene Vossen in the death of Mable Herman of Willmar, Minnesota, who prosecutors said had been stabbed 38 times.
Vossen was questioned shortly after the body of the 74-year-old victim was discovered by her sister in Willmar on Jan. 27, 1974. But it was only after advances in DNA testing and another look at the case that Vossen was arrested decades later in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he had been living.
Vossen, 80, is charged with second-degree murder. His attorney asked a judge to find Vossen incompetent to stand trial due to his physical and mental status. Three mental health experts examined Vossen and determined that he was suffering from significant memory impairment.
A judge in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota on Friday agreed with the defense request.
Defense attorney Kent Marshall says he doesn’t consider the ruling a win for his client.
“I can’t say there’s a victory here, you know we have a family that is still 47 years later still grieving the loss of someone, no closure and we have a guy who is 80-years old that is suffering from mental incapacity either suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s or some combination of that,” Marshall told KELO-TV.
Now that Vossen has been found to be incompetent to stand trial for murder, the county must decide if he can be civilly committed to a mental health facility.
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