Voting machine tampering suspect is incompetent


DENVER — A man accused of tampering with a voting machine during Colorado’s primary election is mentally incompetent and cannot continue with court proceedings, a judge ruled Thursday.


At the request of Richard Patton’s lawyer and prosecutors, Judge William Alexander also ordered that Patton undergo outpatient mental health treatment in hopes of making him well enough so he can be prosecuted.

The judge’s ruling followed an evaluation by an expert who found that Patton was mentally incompetent. To be considered legally competent to proceed, people accused of crimes must be deemed able to understand proceedings and help in their own defense by being able to communicate with their lawyers.

Patton’s lawyer had requested the evaluation but no details about why have been released. Patton has not been asked to enter a plea yet and the case against him will not resume until he is found to be competent.


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