Is Duane Marvin fit to stand trial?

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - How do you prosecute someone who doesn't know what they're doing? That's a situation the district attorney's office could be faced with when bringing murder charges against 91-year-old Duane Marvin.

On Wednesday, an emotional Duane Marvin was arraigned and charged with first degree murder, second degree murder and tampering with physical evidence for allegedly fatally shooting his 92-year old wife in the back of the head.

According to Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion, all defendants are presumed innocent and competent until proven otherwise.

On Thursday, Campion says he began the process of drafting a motion for the court to order a psychiatric examination of Marvin, which will determine if he's competent to stand trial.

Campion says a judge will need to grant the motion before an examination can be carried out by an independent medical provider, most likely a psychiatrist. That examination would address any concerns about mental disease and whether Marvin is fit to stand trial.

If Marvin is found not competent, Campion says the case would be dismissed.

"It's essentially the end of the criminal proceedings," said Campion. "It's a constitutional requirement and that means that they're able to understand the nature of the proceedings and able to assist in their own defense."

Based on the results of Marvin's evaluation, and if the case is dismissed, Campion says it would be up to the Attorney General's Office to determine whether he poses a risk to the community. If they feel he does, Marvin could be required to live in an assisted living facility.

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