Dalton Man Ruled Competent In Mother’s Death

DALTON, Minn. (AP) — A western Minnesota man accused of attacking his mother with a machete, causing her death, has been ruled competent to stand trial.

Judge Mark Hansen found 47-year-old James Howard of Dalton competent earlier this week. The case now proceeds to a grand jury.

Howard is accused of attacking his 68-year-old mother, Barbara Howard, with a machete last April. She died two weeks later.

James Howard allegedly told paramedics he intended to kill his mother to end her suffering from cancer and diabetes.

KBRF Radio reports the grand jury will be asked to upgrade the charge against Howard to first-degree murder.

The grand jury will be called in mid-September.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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