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Oklahoma jury to consider suspect’s mental state

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: April 17, 2014
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DUNCAN — Closing arguments are set in a trial to determine the mental competency of a man accused of killing an Oklahoma teenager.

The trial began this week in Stephens County for 23-year-old Miles Bench. Prosecutors want to seek the death penalty against Bench for the June 2012 death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry, but Bench’s attorneys say their client is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

During proceedings Wednesday, prosecutors showed jurors video of Bench maneuvering his way out of a restraint last September in an escape attempt from jail.

Prosecutors argue the video proves Bench’s competence. But a psychologist for the defense says the incident has no bearing on Bench’s current mental state because it occurred seven months ago.

A local newspaper reports closing arguments are set for 9 a.m. Thursday.

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