Judge Finds Kartchner Competent to Stand Trial

Judge Finds Kartchner Competent to Stand Trial

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Sam Penrod ReportingAmy Bladh, Parent of Kidnap Victim: "Yeah he's competent, anybody who's thinking about ‘I'm going to hurt this child oh wait, I've got to hurry to work and come back’ kind of thing--that's somebody who is thinking."

The mother of a kidnap victim speaks out against the man accused of kidnapping her young son as a judge rules on the suspect's mental competency. A Provo judge today declared that Robert Kartchner is indeed competent to stand trial on kidnapping and attempted murder charges involving the kidnapping of a five-year old Mapleton boy.

And Kartchner will face prosecution now in other unrelated but similar cases.

Robert Kartchner's arrest in October in the Mapleton kidnapping case has led investigators to name Kartchner as a suspect in five other incidents over the last year where other children were threatened or hurt in Utah County.

After a 30 day mental exam at the Utah State Hospital, Robert Kartchner was found competent by two separate evaluators. Kartchner's defense attorney did not object to the findings, which means criminal prosecution against the 20-year old Orem man can continue.

Amy Bladh, Parent of Kidnap Victim: " I think he's a coward and a coward is someone who hurts people who are smaller and littler and have you in control and everything. I don't know why, but that's what I think he is, a coward."

Amy Bladh's five-year old son was allegedly abducted by Kartchner as he rode his scooter home from school in October. The young boy was rescued after dark in Diamond Fork Canyon.

Kartchner was arrested later that night in the same area, his truck matched the description given by the young victim. Detectives believe Kartchner left the boy to go to work and returned after midnight.

Kartchner's arrest later led to charges he rammed a 13-year old boy with his vehicle and drove away.

Spencer Bradford, Hit & Run Victim: "I don't think about it much. I just see him, just kind of remember what he did."

Kartchner is also charged with attempting to abduct two children in Provo.

As for the Bladh family, the last the last eight weeks have been tough, but they say their son is healing as time goes by.

Amy Bladh: "He's had a horrible thing happen to him. It's good it's going away. And I find that's all in the whole realm of miracles, as far as he's doing well and our family we're moving on."

Robert Kartchner will now face a preliminary hearing where a judge will decide if there is enough evidence against him to stand trial on numerous charges. If convicted on those charges Kartchner would face up to life in prison.

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