- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

NEW ULM, Minn. (AP) - A court-appointed psychiatrist says a southern Minnesota man is competent to stand trial on charges he killed his girlfriend.

Twenty-seven-year-old Miguel Vasquez of Springfield is accused of killing 23-year-old Amber Lechuga, dismembering her body and trying to burn her remains in a van just outside of Sleepy Eye in September 2014. He faces charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and arson.

Vasquez claims amnesia about the events surrounding Lechuga’s death. Defense attorneys argue that amnesia hampers Vasquez’s ability to help in his defense.

But forensic psychiatrist Chinmoy Gulrajani said Wednesday that his examination of Vasquez showed he is competent, despite the alleged amnesia.

The Free Press of Mankato (http://bit.ly/1QtbR5H ) reports both sides will submit briefs to the judge in the coming weeks.

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Information from: The Free Press, http://www.mankatofreepress.com

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