Archived Story

Man with ‘mind-control chip in mouth’ found incompetent to stand trial in sister’s murder

Published 3:08pm Friday, October 19, 2012

CASSOPOLIS — An Edwardsburg man who claims to have a mind-control chip implanted in his mouth was found incompetent to stand trial for the June stabbing death of his sister.

Edward J. Hensley, 59, is facing an open murder charge for allegedly stabbing Martha Sexton 11 times in the neck, throat and back in the 19000 block of US-12 in Edwardsburg on June 29.

In a hearing Friday, Cass County District Court Judge Stacey Rentfrow ordered Hensley to be placed in the care of medical professionals at the Center For Forensic Psychiatry. Her ruling was based on an Oct. 8 report by the Center For Forensic Psychiatry that found Hensley to be incompetent to stand trial.

“There is a probability according to the exam that he (Hensley) could attain competency and that he should be appointed to a medical supervisor for treatment,” Renfrow said. “The court will get regular updates from that and determine how to proceed.”

In July, Hensley’s attorney, Dale Blunier, filed a motion asking the court for a forensic examination to be performed. Blunier’s motion was based on his conversations with Hensley. In an affidavit, Blunier said Hensley told him he has a chip implanted in his mouth to control his mind. Hensley also said he believes his sister was replaced by a former friend of his and that the Catholic Church and others are trying to kill him.

“Mr. Hensley does not appear to be in proper mental state to assist me in his defense,” Blunier said in the affidavit.

The court granted Blunier’s motion in July, leading to Friday’s ruling.

Blunier said it is rare for a defendant to be ruled incompetent to stand trial. In 20 years practicing law, Blunier said such a ruling has only happened twice in Cass County to his knowledge.

Assistant prosecutor Tiffiny Vohwinkle echoed Blunier’s statements.

“It doesn’t happen very often,” Vohwinkle said. “I think I’ve seen it twice and I’ve worked here almost seven years.”

According to state law, a defendant must be able to understand what is happening in court, the charges against him and the seriousness of the charges, Rentfrow said.

Vohwinkle said the court case would remain on hold until it is determined Hensley is competent to stand trial. If Hensley were declared competent, the case would go back to the preliminary examination, where a judge would determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial.

Hensley was arraigned in early July. During the arraignment hearing, Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz told the court Hensley fled the murder scene and later admitted to the crime.

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