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Castle Dale man accused of killing parents still incompetent to stand trial

Published: Thursday, Jan. 9 2014 11:29 a.m. MST

Peter Simon Sharp, 31, has been evaluated by mental health professionals and is still not competent to stand trial, a judge ruled Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2014. Sharp is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, for allegedly shooting his parents, William, 51, and Charmaine, 54, on Oct. 21, 2009, in their home in Castle Dale.

Emery County Jail

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CASTLE DALE — A man accused of killing his parents in 2009 is still incompetent to stand trial, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Judge George Harmond ordered Peter Simon Sharp back to the Utah State Hospital for further treatment, following a brief hearing to review whether the 31-year-old is capable of understanding the charges against him and aiding in his own defense.

Sharp is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, and aggravated assault, a second-degree felony. He is accused of using a shotgun to kill his parents, William, 51, and Charmaine, 54, on Oct. 21, 2009, at the family's home in Castle Dale.

Investigators said Sharp also aimed the shotgun at one of his sisters after he'd killed their parents. Four of Sharp's nine siblings were in the house the day of the killings. Two of them tried to wrestle a gun away from their brother, police said.

Sharp started to show signs of mental problems nearly a decade ago, after a car crash left him with serious injuries, according to family members. Various relatives have said he often seemed confused, could not recognize his own family members, appeared to have the mental capacity of a 5-year-old child, and had undergone some kind of mental health treatment prior to the shootings.

In court records filed after a June 2011 competency hearing, Harmond wrote that doctors who examined Sharp had identified a number of possible diagnoses, including catatonic schizophrenia, intermittent explosive disorder and borderline intellectual functioning.

At the conclusion of Wednesday's hearing, the judge committed Sharp to the state hospital for three years. He set a review hearing in the case for Jan. 7, 2015.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com

Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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