91-year-old man accused of killing his wife deemed incompetent, case dismissed

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - A man who was charged with shooting and killing his own wife had his case dismissed by an Anchorage judge on Wednesday.

The judge came to this decision not because he believed the accused, Duane Marvin, 91, hadn't killed his 94-year-old wife, but because state psychologists said he suffers from dementia, and was not capable of standing trial.

"This case is dismissed without prejudice," Judge Michael Corey said Wednesday. This effectively upheld the finding of the state of Alaska's forensic psychologist, stating that Marvin was not competent to stand trial as he suffers from dementia, also known as major neurocognitive disorder.

At the time of the arrest, a police affidavit states that Marvin admitted to the killing. However, he claimed to not be aware of why it happened. "I killed my wife and I don't know why," Marvin told police.

When Marvin was originally arraigned in court, Corey ordered another round of testing on Marvin's mental capability to stand trial before making his decision. At the courthouse on Wednesday, the psychologist reinforced their opinion.

"My opinion is unchanged, I feel actually that there was more evidence that supported my opinion that Mr. Marvin is not competent to stand trial and my follow-up opinion that it is likely impossible to restore him to a competent state due to his cognitive deficit," said Dr. Becker, who evaluated Marvin.

At that time, Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion said that he didn't think the case was likely to go to trial.