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Man remains mentally incompetent to face trial in Bountiful slaying

Man remains mentally incompetent to face trial in Bountiful slaying



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FARMINGTON -- A man accused of stabbing a woman to death with a steak knife remains mentally incompetent to face trial, court records indicate.

During a hearing in 2nd District Court on Wednesday, a judge said he had received a letter from the Utah State Hospital that indicated Phillip Joseph Simmons remains mentally incompetent to face trial.

Court records said the judge scheduled another hearing for Dec. 1 to determine if Simmons could be restored to competency.

Simmons' courtroom behavior has been described as bizarre. The 37-year-old man is charged with first-degree felony murder. He is accused of stabbing Suzanne Fry, 57, to death in her Bountiful apartment in January 2008. She had been stabbed 51 times with a steak knife, police said.

Charging documents said the two had been arguing about food and "that in his mind he heard the word 'murder' and a knife came out and then he blacked out. When he came to, there was blood all over, and the victim was lying on the floor."

Bountiful police have said it appeared to them that Fry had allowed Simmons to stay with her. Family and friends described the woman as having a mental disability, but say she was a kind and giving woman who may have been trying to help him in some way.

E-mail: bwinslow@ksl.com

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Ben Winslow

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