Woman declared competent for capital murder trial - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Woman declared competent for capital murder trial

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A jury decided Westbrook is competent to stand trial for capital murder. A jury decided Westbrook is competent to stand trial for capital murder.
FORT PAYNE, AL (WAFF) -

A DeKalb County woman will go to trial, after a jury found Tuesday she is competent to stand trial for capital murder.

The jury decision was a relief for family members who said they have waited three years for justice.

After deliberating for 30 minutes, a jury found 39-year-old Patty Elaine Westbrook competent to stand trial for the murder of 70-year-old Pete Batey.

Investigators said Westbrook shot Batey to death as he was giving her a ride in March 2011 outside of Geraldine. They believe Westbrook took off with Batey's truck and money from his wallet before being caught in neighboring Marshall County.

In closing arguments Tuesday, both sides acknowledged Westbrook has mental health issues, but the deciding factor to the jury would be whether or not that impacted her ability to rationally communicate with her attorneys.

A date for the capital murder trial has not been set.

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