FARMINGTON — Attorneys for a man accused of stabbing a Bountiful woman to death are apparently planning to seek an insanity defense.

Phillip Joseph Simmons' court-appointed defense attorney, C. Markley Arrington, filed a notice here in 2nd District Court saying that subsequent contact with Simmons by two attorneys and an investigator "leads counsel to conclude that Defendant is incompetent to stand trial AND was incompetent and insane at the time of the alleged offense."

Simmons, 35, is charged with first-degree felony murder in last month's slaying of 57-year-old Suzanne Fry. He was scheduled to appear Wednesday for a competency review hearing, but the matter was rescheduled for mid-April after Arrington said a court order for a competency evaluation had just recently been filed.

It was Simmons' bizarre behavior during his first court appearance days after Fry's death that led both prosecutors and defense attorneys to seek a mental competency evaluation. In court, he rarely looked at anyone and moved his mouth as if he were chewing on something.

Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings declined to comment on the defense notice.

"We'll just have to see what the evaluations show and what the experts say," he said Wednesday.

On Jan. 19, Bountiful police responded to a 911 call from neighbors about loud noises in Fry's apartment. Officers found Fry dead, stabbed 51 times with a steak knife.


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