Updated: Thursday, 02 Jun 2011, 11:53 AM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 01 Jun 2011, 6:14 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - After nearly two years of waiting, the fellow nuns at the Navajo convent now know Reehahlio Carroll will stand trial for the death of Sister Margaurite Bartz.
She was bludgeoned to death in her room at the convent in the town of Navajo on Halloween night 2009. Investigators say Carroll was burglarizing her home for money to buy drugs and alcohol when Sister Bartz woke up and confronted him.
Carroll has undergone nearly one year of mental evaluations, and on Wednesday a team of psychologists from a federal medical prison in Missouri said they believe Carroll is capable of standing trial.
“This is about, to me, can he understand the nature of the proceedings and can he assist his lawyer? And the unambiguous expert opinions are that he can at this point,” said Carroll’s defense attorney Robert Gorence.
Some have argued in the past that Carroll is incompetent because he’s mentally retarded.
On Tuesday experts said they believed Carroll purposely performed poorly on mental evaluations. They said Carroll normally tested below average on some tests, but not low enough to be deemed mentally incompetent. And one psychologist said Carroll would over-exaggerate mental symptoms.
It’s believed the murder trial will start in about six months as both the defense and prosecution prepare their cases.