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Mental competency of accused killer to be examined

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Darryl Enriquez
October 28, 2010
— The man accused in the murder of Sandra Teichow of Lake Geneva was ordered Wednesday to undergo a psychological evaluation to determine his competency to proceed through the court system.

Wilbert L. Thomas, 65, Racine, appeared in Racine County Court secured to a wheelchair and wearing a padded green smock, known as a suicide gown. The clothing is meant to protect a person from harming himself.


Teichow, who earlier lived in Elkhorn, was known for her kindness and community service. Police say she took a picture of her killer just before her death.


Thomas' lawyers successfully argued that the preliminary hearing set for Wednesday should be delayed until it is determined if Thomas can understand the legal ramifications he faces and the court process ahead of him.


Thomas faces a life term in prison if found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide.


Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz granted the request. The prosecution team did not oppose the evaluation but informed the judge that Thomas already had been evaluated twice this year for earlier crimes and was found competent on both occasions.


Gasiorkiewicz speculated that Thomas would be found competent again. He scheduled both a hearing on the competency findings and a preliminary hearing for 2:30 p.m. Nov. 15.


At the preliminary, a judge would rule if there is enough evidence to take a case to trial.


Teichow, 67, was killed in a secluded area of Racine on Oct. 14. Tiechow went to a Racine hairstylist hours before her death and announced her intentions to distribute $100 in quarters to the needy at a Laundromat, according to a criminal complaint.


A neighborhood resident found her battered remains. Quarters were found under her body, according to the complaint.


Thomas told investigators that he killed Teichow and that he needed psychological help.



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