A court hearing has been delayed until November to determine if a 14-year-old boy accused in the strangulation death of a northern Indiana girl is competent to stand trial in her killing.
The hearing for the boy, who police believe killed 6-year-old Grace Ross in March, had been scheduled for Thursday before a St. Joseph County magistrate, but it was continued until Nov. 17.
The postponement is the third time the boy’s competency hearing has been delayed, as doctors called in by prosecutors and the boy’s attorneys have taken longer than expected to conduct interviews with him and compile their reports, the South Bend Tribune reported.
The boy is charged with murder and child molestation in juvenile court in Grace Ross’ death. His name is being withheld because of his age.
If he is deemed competent to stand trial, a December date has been set for his trial in juvenile court.
St. Joseph County prosecutors have said they want to see the results of those exams before deciding if they will move to have the boy waived to superior, or “adult,” court.
Grace Ross was found dead March 12 in a wooded area in New Carlisle, about 75 miles east of Chicago, about two hours after she had been reported missing from the nearby apartment complex where she lived.
An autopsy concluded her death to be a homicide by asphyxiation