Kentucky man ruled mentally fit for death penalty trial

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky man charged with murder in the “execution-style” slayings of three people has been found mentally competent to stand trial.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports Judge Jay Wethington ruled Monday that 32-year-old Cylar L. Shemwell is able to understand the charges against him and participate in his defense.

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Shemwell and his 31-year-old co-defendant, Arnett B. Baines, are each facing the death penalty in the January slayings that authorities have said were captured on surveillance video. Owensboro police Detective Todd Wilkerson has said Baines shot each of the victims in the head while Shemwell watched. A fourth victim was shot and survived.

A forensic psychiatrist with the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center, Timothy Allen, testified at the Monday hearing that Shemwell faked a mental illness. Shemwell’s defense plans to have his competency reevaluated.