Day two of Miles Bench competency trial - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Day two of Miles Bench competency trial

DUNCAN, Okla._A psychologist who changed her opinion on whether an accused killer was competent to stand trial explained her decision to a Stephens County jury Tuesday afternoon.

This was the second day of testimony in the hearing for Miles Bench, he's charged with murdering 16-year-old Braylee Henry of Velma in 2012. Prosecutors said Bench killed Henry after she stopped at the convenience store where he worked and then dumped her body in a nearby pasture.

This isn't the first time Miles Bench has had his competency questioned. Bench was originally evaluated by psychologists in early 2013, after two sessions, the court ruled he was capable of standing trial. Since that time, Bench's behavior in jail has deteriorated so badly, he was sent back for re-evaluation and this time, defense attorneys wanted a jury to make the call.

Defense witness, Dr. Jeanne Russell, took the stand to discuss the two times she evaluated Bench's competency, once in June 2013 and again in February 2014. Russell says although she declared Bench to be mentally capable in her first evaluation, Bench was very timid the second time around.

In addition to changing the subject to religion any time his case was brought up, she said he also mentioned hallucinations, "shadow people", and even suicide. She told the defense that she did not believe Bench was competent at this time, but with proper care and medication, he easily could be by the time his trial comes up on the docket this summer.

Several employees with the Stephens County jail backed those accounts up, telling the jury about Bench's erratic behavior during his time behind bars. From testimony heard about Bench repeatedly beating his head against a wall to starving himself, each employee described several incidents that resulted in Bench being put on suicide watch. Several administrators also discussed his obsession with religion, often quoting the bible and preaching to anyone that he came into contact with.

One restriction included with the competency hearing is preventing news crews from photographing or filming Bench because of fear of swaying any potential jurors for his murder trial in the future. Bench looks a little different now, he has long hair, a long beard and is about 50-60 pounds lighter than he was when he first entered the Stephens County jail last year.

Bench's murder trial was originally scheduled for this month, however, that has now been pushed back to August pending the outcome of this week's proceedings. If convicted of murder, Bench could face the death penalty.

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