Mom wants trial for Maine man thought to have shot child

Posted April 30, 2010, at 11:08 a.m.

OSSIPEE, N.H. — The mother of a 14-year-old New Hampshire girl thought killed by a man later found incompetent to stand trial says she wants the man to go on trial now.

Charlene Steele says it’s not right that 47-year-old James Mann of Fryeburg, Maine, should be able to walk away after being released to a halfway house following treatment for mental illness after the 2005 shooting of Jasmine Steele.

Steele spoke Thursday after a hearing in Ossipee at which prosecutors asked a judge to declare Mann competent, possibly clearing the way for a trial.

Mann’s attorney says there’s no evidence that Mann’s inability to make appropriate decisions has changed.

The New Hampshire Union Leader says Judge Steven Houran will likely issue a decision within 30 days.