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Virginia top court to hear ‘unrestorably incompetent’ case

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — More than 13 years after a 16-year-old girl was found raped and murdered, the case of the man whose DNA was found at the scene is heading to the Virginia Supreme Court.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports 46-year-old Oswaldo Elias Martinez has never stood trial in Brittany Binger’s 2005 death. Deemed incompetent because he can’t speak or hear, he’s been held in jail and mental hospitals.

Martinez’s lawyers want his capital murder charge dismissed. Their filing says the state law used to hold him permits detention only for “medical” treatment to restore competency.

The state tried to teach Martinez sign language to assist in his defense.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Nate Green says someone “unrestorably incompetent” who’s charged with capital murder and poses a danger must continue along the restoration process.

Arguments are scheduled for Oct. 31.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com

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