Grand jury finds murder suspect competent to stand trial - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Grand jury finds murder suspect competent to stand trial

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A Franklin Co. grand jury found McLemore competent to stand trial. (Source: WAFF) A Franklin Co. grand jury found McLemore competent to stand trial. (Source: WAFF)
FRANKLIN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A Franklin County grand jury found a murder suspect competent to stand trial.

Michael McLemore is accused of shooting and killing his father and stepmother in 2011. Investigators said McLemore also attacked his aunt and uncle with a hammer.

Opening statements in the competency hearing for McLemore began Tuesday. It took the jury a little longer than an hour on Thursday to reach a verdict in the hearing.

District Attorney Joey Rushing said this is the first time in 17 years a Franklin County jury has been called upon to determine competency.

"It is an unusual situation and it is something we are taking very seriously," Rushing said. "There won't be an actual trial on the merits of the case unless he is found competent to stand trial."

McLemore's sister said the murder has torn her family apart, and she is pleased with the jury's decision to send him to trial.

"To me, I just knew," Barbara Hodges said. "I know my brother very well and I knew in my heart he was competent."

The judge granted the defense's request to have a new jury selected for the criminal trial, which has been set for September.

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