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Utah man charged in wife's death still not competent for trial

Published July 28, 2013 1:01 am

Courts • Another review of Charles Dodd's mental health is scheduled for January.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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 77-year-old man accused of killing his wife in 2011 is still not competent to stand trial, a judge ruled Thursday.

In June 2012, Judge Lyle Anderson ruled that Charles Dodd, of Duchesne, was incompetent to stand trial on first-degree felony murder, but his competency could be restored with mental health treatment.

Anderson held a review hearing Thursday. According to court documents, Dodd's latest competency review shows he's still not able to stand trial on the charge.

Dodd was ordered back to the Utah State Hospital, and another review was scheduled for January 2014.

Court documents state that the body of 82-year-old Mary Ratliff was found in the couple's home on Aug. 13, 2011, 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 2011, 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.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller