Judge: Killer of Farley Native Competent to Stand Trial

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) – A judge has ruled that the man accused of raping and killing a Farley native in Dubuque in 2015 is competent to stand trial.

The Telegraph Herald reports that Judge Monica Ackley said Wednesday that Helmon Betwell can be tried on murder and other charges. Prosecutors say he attacked 66-year-old Nancy Krapfl on Sept. 1, 2015, as she was walking in downtown Dubuque. Betwell’s trial is scheduled to begin July 25.

Last June, Betwell was declared incompetent, but he was later found competent in December, after being treated at a state facility in Coralville. A subsequent evaluation by a defense expert said Betwell has an intellectual disability that prevents him from understanding the legal proceedings. The judge said in her ruling Wednesday that subnormal intelligence is just one consideration in a competency decision.