Man who stabbed Duchesne High student, hit sister with hammer found competent

Man who stabbed Duchesne High student, hit sister with hammer found competent

(Duchesne County Jail)

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DUCHESNE — A sentencing hearing is back on the calendar for a man who stabbed a classmate at Duchesne High School and hit his own sister with a hammer in separate incidents.

Questions about Leland Patrick King's mental competency had put his sentencing in both cases on hold. On Monday, Judge Samuel Chiara found King competent based on the results of a third competency evaluation.

King, 19, pleaded no contest in December to aggravated assault on school premises, a second-degree felony; and aggravated domestic violence assault, a class A misdemeanor. Two other misdemeanor charges were dismissed under the terms of a deal with Duchesne County prosecutors.

Chiara accepted the deal after finding that King was competent to proceed in the cases based on a report from one mental health professional. A second competency evaluation had been conducted, but the report had not been submitted to Chiara when he accepted King's pleas, court records show.

The second evaluator, whose report was filed in January, found that King was incompetent, according to defense attorney Bill Morrison. Based on that finding, Chiara postponed King's sentencing in February and ordered the third evaluation.

King and a 17-year-old classmate got into a physical altercation on the Duchesne High School football field on May 14, 2014, after a name-calling incident during gym class.

The teacher and other students separated the pair and both were told to report to the office, charging documents state. King, who was 18 at the time, went into the locker room to change, followed by the 17-year-old, whose name has not been released.

Inside the locker room, King stabbed the other student three times, breaking a bone in the victim's arm and causing one of his lungs to collapse, court records show.

In August 2014, while out on bail in the stabbing case, King assaulted his older sister during an argument over farm chores, according to charging documents. The woman told deputies King grabbed and pushed her during the argument, then picked up a nearby hammer and struck her in the leg, causing her to collapse.

King's mother has said that her son has a diminished mental capacity and has a musculoskeletal disorder that makes him physically weaker than other people his age. Those disabilities made King a target for bullying by as many as seven Duchesne High students, including the teen who was stabbed, according to his mother.

King is scheduled to be sentenced June 1.


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Geoff Liesik


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