New competency hearing begins Tuesday for woman accused of slaying husband in bathtub

Posted Dec. 10, 2013, at 5:39 a.m.
Last modified Dec. 10, 2013, at 1:15 p.m.

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Roxanne Jeskey sits in court on Thursday during the closing argument of her competency hearing on April 16, 2013 at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Roxanne Jeskey sits in court on Thursday during the closing argument of her competency hearing on April 16, 2013 at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Roxanne Jeskey, 48, enters the courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor for her initial appearance Friday, June 24, 2011. Jeskey is charged with the June 13, 2011, murder of her husband, Richard Jeskey.
Roxanne Jeskey, 48, enters the courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor for her initial appearance Friday, June 24, 2011. Jeskey is charged with the June 13, 2011, murder of her husband, Richard Jeskey.

BANGOR, Maine — A second hearing to determine if Roxanne Jeskey is competent to stand trial for murder in connection with the brutal slaying of her husband 2½ years ago is scheduled to begin Tuesday morning before Superior Court Justice E. Allen Hunter at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Jeskey, 50, of Bangor was charged with intentional or knowing murder and depraved indifference murder in the death of her husband, Richard Jeskey, 53, in their Ohio Street apartment. His naked and bloody body was found June 13, 2011. He was beaten and strangled, according to autopsy results.

A different judge found Jeskey competent in May after four expert witnesses — two for the prosecution and two for the defense — gave conflicting opinions concerning whether Jeskey could assist her attorneys at trial. All agreed that Jeskey’s memory and cognitive skills have been impaired by the removal of a brain tumor in 2004.

The second competency hearing is scheduled to last two or three days. Jesky’s jury-waived trial is to begin Monday.

Jeskey pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on May 24, two weeks after Superior Court Justice Ann Murray found her competent to stand trial. When Jeskey asserted an insanity defense, Murray recused herself from the case and Hunter was appointed to handle it.

The defendant’s condition has deteriorated over the past seven months, in part because she has been taken off antipsychotic medications while being held at the Penobscot County Jail, her Bangor attorneys Joseph Baldacci and David Bate said in their motion for the hearing.

Experts for the prosecution are expected to disagree.

If Jeskey were to be found not competent to stand trial, she could be committed to Riverview Psychiatric Hospital in Augusta until staff deemed her able to live in the community and not be a danger to herself or others.

She would face a sentence of between 25 years and life in prison if convicted of murder.

Watch bangordailynews.com for updates.

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