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Geoff Liesik, Deseret News
Charles Edward Dodd appears in 8th District Court Thursday, Jan. 12, 2011, for a status hearing on his mental competency. Dodd, 76, is charged with murder, a first-degree felony, in the Aug. 13, 2011, stabbing death of his wife, 82-year-old Mary W. Ratliffe.

DUCHESNE — A Duchesne man accused of fatally stabbing his wife in what investigators say was intended to be a murder-suicide has been committed to the Utah State Hospital.

Charles Edward Dodd is incompetent to stand trial, according to a third competency evaluation provided to Judge Lyle Anderson. Two previous evaluations were divided on whether Dodd could understand the nature of the charge against him and assist in his own defense.

Dodd, 76, is charged in 8th District Court with murder, a first-degree felony. 

Duchesne County sheriff's investigators say Dodd was disappointed when he woke up in a hospital bed last summer. He expected to be dead after consuming a large amount of prescription drugs and a tumbler of vodka on Aug. 13, before stabbing himself in the chest and losing consciousness, the detectives said in court records.

The apparent suicide attempt occurred after Dodd killed his wife, Mary W. Ratliffe, by stabbing her three times in the chest as she slept inside their Duchesne home, court records state.

Dodd restated his desire to die in one of his interviews with a court-appointed pyschologist following his arrest. He said he wanted to "plead guilty to the charge straight up, be sent to the (state prison) and have them put a bullet in his head," defense attorney Bill Morrison said in January. 

As a result of that desire, and what Morrison called Dodd's "resistance" in providing answers to the psychologist's questions, the examiner found Dodd incompetent to stand trial. That contradicted the findings of the first competency evaluation performed on Dodd, which led Anderson to order a third exam.

Sheriff's investigators learned of Ratliffe's death and Dodd's apparent suicide attempt after an acquaintance notified them that Dodd had left two envelopes at her office containing $7,000 in cash and two notes indicating that he intended to kill his wife and himself.

"This money was our stash for burial," one of the notes read, according to court records. The other note stated that Dodd feared someone would take his 82-year-old wife away from him because he had recently injured his head.  

The acquaintance who contacted deputies said Dodd had been depressed lately and had stated "the end will come." 

When Dodd was interviewed in the hospital after he was found, he told detectives his wife was "in constant pain, and they had talked about 'ending it' on numerous occasions," court records state.

Ratliffe's family and friends have said that she was not suicidal and was capable of caring for herself.

Dodd has been committed to the Utah State Hospital for at least one year. He is due back in court in June 2013. 

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