ST. GEORGE — A Washington man accused of beating and killing his wife with a hammer has been found incompetent to stand trial.
David Keith Benson, 76, was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, in the Oct. 31, 2012, death of his wife, Madeline, 76. In December, 5th District Judge John Walton ordered that the man's competency be evaluated.
In a hearing on Feb. 19, it was determined that the man was incompetent and the judge ordered that Benson be sent to the Utah State Hospital for treatment.
A family member called 911 to report he had received a call from David Benson saying that he had killed his wife on Oct. 31. Police found Madeline Benson's body in the kitchen. Her husband had blood spatter on his face and clothing, according to charging documents.
Benson struck his wife in the back of the head with a hammer and then "repeatedly in the face" after she dropped to the floor, the charges state. "David kept saying he didn't know why he did it."
Police noted in court documents that Benson was "having continual homicidal thoughts toward others and toward himself."
No future hearings have been set in the case.