- Associated Press - Friday, April 18, 2014

DUNCAN, Okla. (AP) - A jury says an Oklahoma man charged in the death of a 16-year-old girl is mentally competent to stand trial.

The Stephens County jury made its recommendation Thursday after hearing three days of testimony in the competency trial of Miles Bench. Prosecutors charged Bench with first-degree murder for the 2012 death of Velma teenager Braylee Henry.

Defense attorneys had argued that Bench’s mental health has deteriorated since his arrest. They argued that Bench could eventually become competent through medication and rehabilitation.

But prosecutors argued that Bench has shown his mental competence while in jail, including an escape attempt and intentional fasting that has led him to lose more than 100 pounds.

Bench is next due in court Aug. 18.



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