Man to stand mental competency trial over death of local attorney

Man accused in death of attorney will face mental competency trial

EL CENTRO, Calif. - After several court-ordered mental evaluations, defendant Ion Laurint will stand trial on September 25th. A jury will determine if he’s mentally competent to understand court proceedings.

Imperial County District Attorney Deborah Owen said, “Today it was on for a status check pre-trial conference. Previously the case had been assigned for the civil proceeding to Judge Jones. Judge Plourd said today that it was assigned to Judge Anderholt for the trial on the issue of competency.”

Laurint cannot be tried on a pending murder case until the question of his mental competency is settled.

“Criminal proceedings have been suspended. So,the issue, specifically the issue of whether or not he’s competent to stand trial,” Owen said.

Owen said they’re ready.

“We will be calling one expert, the other will be lay witnesses, people that have observed his ability to understand the nature of the proceedings and assist his attorney,” Owen said.

The defense will be calling on three expert witnesses.
Laurint is accused in the death of El Centro Attorney Anne Marie Zimmerman early last year. She died of multiple stab wounds at a local motel.

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