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Thu, Nov. 14

One of two arrested after fatal fight incompetent to stand trial

Richard Dean Widman, 53, of Prescott Valley

Richard Dean Widman, 53, of Prescott Valley

PRESCOTT - Doctors who examined Richard Dean Widman, accused of murder and conspiracy, have determined that he is not competent to participate in his own defense, a judge said Monday.

Police arrested Widman, 53, and Tharpsky Oyal Brown, 25, both of Prescott Valley, in March 2010 at their residence in the 8400 block of Manley Drive on charges of first-degree murder, Prescott Valley Police spokesman Brandon Bonney said.

Police investigators said the victim, John Eugene Jackson, 37, of Prescott Valley, got into an argument that turned into a violent fight with Brown and Widman in a parking lot in the 8200 block of Jacque Drive.

The two suspects beat and stabbed Jackson, Bonney said. An autopsy showed that Jackson suffered multiple blunt-force injuries and multiple stab wounds to his head and neck. The pair each face one count of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy; Widman also is charged with failure to register as a sex offender.

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley said that a psychiatric report indicated that Widman "is not competent to proceed, but there is a reasonable likelihood of restoration." Ainley placed him in the Yavapai County Restoration to Competency program.

Brown's attorney, Jeff McNeice, said he had received a plea offer from the state, but his client would need time to consider whether he wanted to accept it. "If he decides he does not want to do that, we will set a trial date," McNeice said.

Ainley set a May 21 hearing.

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