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Judge rules man on trial for 2013 murder is competent to stand trial

A Baltimore County judge ruled Monday that a man on trial for killing his ex-girlfriend is competent to stand trial.

Circuit Court Judge Ruth Ann Jakubowski called for the additional evaluations of Jeffrey Shiflett last week after his attorneys argued that he is no longer able to comprehend the proceedings, nor assist his council in his defense.

Shiflett was evaluated by an mental health expert Monday morning.

Shiflett has previously undergone two evaluations before the trial that allowed the case to proceed but his attorneys said his recent outbursts, sometimes obscene or threatening, show his condition has deteriorated.

Shiflett, 35, is accused of stabbing Katie Hadel 16 times in her Garrison apartment, where he attacked her as she prepared a bath for her young daughter.

A psychiatrist testified on Thursday that Shiflett was not competent given his recent behavior, while another mental health professional on Friday testified he was able to control himself. A third, hired by his attorneys, is scheduled to conduct another evaluation Monday, and then the judge is expected to make her ruling.

The judge had previously requested Shiflett wear a stun cuff, which delivers an electronic shock, in the event that he became physically violent, but he refused to comply. Courtroom officials instead provided a video feed to allow him to watch the proceedings from a secure location.

Jurors could potentially begin deliberations this week.

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