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Judge Won’t Revisit Competency Of Murder Suspect

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FARGO, N.D. (AP) – A judge says he won’t reconsider whether a North Dakota man accused of killing his neighbor in Minnesota nearly two decades ago is mentally fit to stand trial.

Clarence Burcham is to stand trial beginning June 13 in the November 1993 death of Sharon Stafford in a Moorhead, Minn., mobile home park. Judge Galen Vaa in Minnesota’s Clay County ruled a year ago that Burcham was fit to stand trial, and The Forum newspaper reports that Vaa has rejected a defense motion to reconsider.

Authorities charged Burcham with murder in the summer of 2009, after police allege he admitted in an interview with a cold case detective to strangling the 26-year-old woman with an electrical cord after she called him retarded.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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