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Judge: Accused Athens Killer Competent For Trial

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File photo of a judge's gavel.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

File photo of a judge’s gavel. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – A judge has ruled that a man accused of killing one police officer and wounding another in Athens is competent to stand trial.

Clarke County Superior Court Judge David Sweat made the ruling Tuesday after hearing testimony from a single witness, a state psychologist who evaluated suspect Jamie Hood.

Hood is charged with killing police officer Elmer “Buddy” Christian III and wounding Tony Howard in March 2011. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Karen Bailey-Smith, director of forensic services for the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, testified Tuesday that Hood not only is competent but has demonstrated an above-average appreciation of how the court system operates.

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