- Associated Press - Thursday, March 31, 2016

WARSAW, N.Y. (AP) - A judge has ruled that a western New York woman charged with killing her husband and burying his body in a manure pile on their farm is competent to stand trial.

A Wyoming County judge ruled that 49-year-old Charlene Mess wasn’t mentally incapacitated. The ruling came after a psychologist said she was functioning well inside jail. Two other psychologists had concluded after examining Mess last year that she wasn’t competent to stand trial in the slaying of her husband, Douglas Mess.

Authorities say Charlene Mess hit her 52-year-old husband with a pitchfork, then fatally shot him in the head with a .22-caliber rifle last April on their farm in the town of Attica. Police found his body buried in manure on the couple’s property.

Charlene Mess has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges.

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