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Utah man who allegedly killed wife with hammer found incompetent

Published February 26, 2013 12:05 pm

Courts • David Keith Benson, 76, was ordered to the Utah State Hospital for mental treatment.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A 76-year-old Washington City man charged with murder after allegedly beating his wife to death with a hammer last year has been found incompetent to stand trial.

David Keith Benson, charged in 5th District Court with first-degree felony murder, was ordered last week by Judge John Walton to the Utah State Hospital for treatment. The decision came after two doctors evaluated the defendant and found him incompetent to stand trial.

Benson killed his wife, Madelin Benson, 76, in the kitchen of their home on Oct. 31, according to court documents. He was arrested that day after a family member called police to the Pine View Estates subdivision.

When officers arrived, Benson — who had blood on his clothes and body — kept saying he did not know why he did it, according to court documents.

An investigation revealed Benson struck his wife in the back of the head with a hammer, which caused her to fall to the floor, court documents state. Benson then allegedly struck her repeatedly in the face with the hammer until she was dead.

Walton ruled that Benson's case would be delayed until he was treated and found competent to stand trial, but no date for a mental evaluation review was listed in court records.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller