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Judge orders mental exam for man charged in Gary revenge murder
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Judge orders mental exam for man charged in Gary revenge murder

From the This week in local crime news: No bones about it: Family behind Scooter's Barbecue wants stolen smoker back series

CROWN POINT — A defense attorney requested Tuesday a mental exam to determine if her 31-year-old client was competent to stand trial in a Gary man's murder.

Judge Diane Boswell granted the request for a competency exam by defense attorney Linda Kollintzas. She ordered Jason R. Burgess to be examined by doctors to determine if he was mentally competent to stand trial on charges of murder and attempted murder in the fatal shooting Feb. 15 of James D. Franklin, 57, in the 4200 block of Kentucky Street in Gary.

Boswell scheduled a new court hearing for Dec. 11. Two doctors will be required to file a report with the court by then offering an opinion on Burgess' competence.

Franklin was found by authorities about 10:45 p.m. on Feb. 15 dead from gunshot wounds in the middle of Kentucky Street, according to court records. Gary police learned Franklin was walking with his grandson in the neighborhood when Burgess allegedly rode up on a bicycle and began firing rounds at them. The grandson escaped unharmed, records state, but Burgess was shot in the arm and right thigh, which severed a femoral artery.

Burgess allegedly attacked Franklin on behalf of the mother of his children, who told Burgess the victim physically harmed her during a dispute at her residence.

Burgess has pleaded not guilty to charges. A jury trial has not been scheduled, records state.

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.

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