NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (Sept. 4 2015) -- A Hamilton County teen accused killing a 73-year-old man was ruled competent to stand trial.
Prosecutors claim Maxwell Winkler, 17, shot the victim three times and cut his throat in an apparent thrill killing last November.
The victim, Henry Kim, was murdered while walking in a park near his home last year.
Prosecutors say Winkler committed the crime and after a judge found Winkler competent, the Fishers teen will now face a jury.
“A competency weighs whether an individual can assist their attorney in their own defense. Do they understand the proceedings?” said Hamilton county chief deputy prosecutor Andre Miksha.
Two medical experts testified in court that Winkler does suffer from several mental disorders including autism, but the experts claim Winkler still understands the consequences of the trial and his legal options.
According to court records, Winkler left a hand-written note detailing supplies and steps needed to carry out the murder, including a reminder to “enjoy the kill.”
Even though Winkler has been found competent, he could still use insanity as a defense during trial.
“Insanity is a defense and focuses on the time of the events and whether the individual understood the wrongfulness of their actions due to mental defect,” said Miksha. “Competency goes to whether they can assist as the case gets tried.”
Winkler is being tried as an adult and could face life in prison if convicted. A trial date has been set for January of next year.