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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. Uncle Rico says:

    Be nice if the courts would start disclosing what is and what is not actual insanity. How could you not be crazy to try to kill someone so violently? This wasnt a robery gone bad, it’s not thug life, and it appears to be pretty maniacal. I think the problem must be that insanity is often looked at as an excuse that bars intense imprisonment and is seen as leanency. Never been to prison but I think I would rather go there than a nut house for the criminally insane anyway.

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