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Duchesne man accused of murder to be evaluated for competency

Duchesne man accused of murder to be evaluated for competency

By Geoff Liesik | Posted - Oct. 13, 2011 at 8:31 p.m.


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DUCHESNE -- The defense attorney for a Duchesne man accused of killing his wife has asked for an evaluation of his client's mental competency.

Charles Edward Dodd appeared Thursday in 8th District Court for a preliminary hearing on one count of murder, a first-degree felony. His attorney, Bill Morrison, asked Judge Lyle Anderson to postpone the hearing, however.

Morrison wants Dodd to undergo testing to determine whether the 75-year-old understands the charge against him and is capable of aiding in his own defense.

Duchesne County Attorney Stephen Foote did not object to the delay, and Anderson agreed to order the competency evaluation.

Dodd is accused of fatally stabbing his 82-year-old wife, Mary W. Ratliffe.

Duchesne County sheriff's deputies were contacted Aug. 13 by a friend of the couple who said Dodd had left two envelopes at her office containing $7,000 in cash and two notes indicating that he intended to kill himself and his wife.

"This money was our stash for burial," one of the notes read, according to court records.

The other note stated that Dodd feared someone would take his wife away from him because of a recent injury to his head. The acquaintance who had contacted deputies said Dodd had been depressed lately and had said "the end will come," court records state.


The acquaintance who had contacted deputies said Dodd had been depressed lately and had said "the end will come."

Deputies went to the trailer home Dodd and Ratliffe shared at 67 W. 300 South. They found Dodd unresponsive in a chair in the front room with blood coming from a puncture wound to his chest.

In a bedroom, they found Ratliffe stabbed to death in her bed. A black and silver hunting knife was found on a small table next to the bed, investigators said.

Dodd was interviewed at the hospital by sheriff's investigators. He told them his wife was "in constant pain, and they had talked about 'ending it' on numerous occasions," court records state.

"(Dodd) stated on that day that 'enough was enough,' and he 'decided to end it,'" the records state.

Investigators say he stabbed Ratliffe more than once in the chest.

Dodd then said he washed down a large number of prescription pills with a tumbler full of alcohol, put a knife to his chest and leaned against the wall to push the knife into himself, court records state.

Dodd remains in the Duchesne County Jail, where he has been held since his release from the hospital. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 10.

Email: gliesik@desnews.com

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