Utah husband charged with wife's murder incompetent for trial
A 76-year-old man accused of killing his wife last year has been ordered to the Utah State Hospital.
Charles Dodd, of Duchesne, is incompetent to stand trial but is capable of being restored to competency with mental health treatment, 8th District Judge Lyle Anderson ruled last month. Anderson scheduled a June 13, 2013, hearing to review Dodd's case.
Dodd is charged with first-degree felony murder in the death of his wife, 82-year-old Mary Ratliff.
Court documents state that Ratliff's body was found in the couple's home Aug. 13 after a family friend received a package containing a suicide note and $7,000 for burial expenses from Dodd.
Officers went to the couple's home, near 60 W. 300 South in Duchesne, and found Ratliff lying on a hospital-type bed, with multiple puncture wounds in her chest, deputies wrote. Dodd was found unconscious in a chair in the same room. He also had a puncture wound in his chest and a cut on the back of his head, investigators wrote. A bloody hunting knife was on the table next to Ratliff's bed.
Dodd was taken by ambulance to Uintah Basin Medical Center and was later flown to a Salt Lake City hospital.
After he regained consciousness, Dodd told investigators that his wife was in constant pain, and the couple several times had discussed "ending it," the charge states. Dodd said he left the notes and money at their friend's office and returned to his home, investigators wrote.
After a hearing in November, Duchesne County Attorney Stephen Foote said Ratliff was not bedridden and was still competent enough to care for the couple's finances. Foote suggested Dodd's condition may have been the driving factor in the murder and attempted suicide.
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