Competency hearing delayed again for triple-slaying suspect

Crime

DANVILLE, Va. (AP) — A competency hearing has been delayed for fourth time for a Virginia man who police say killed the wife, son and mother-in-law of a minor league baseball pitcher.

The Danville Register & Bee reports that the latest competency review and determination hearing for Matthew Bernard had been scheduled for Wednesday in Pittsylvania County.

RELATED: Rays minor leaguer says he learned his family was dead on social media

But the review has been pushed to late October. James Martin, Bernard’s attorney, wrote in a news release that the delay is for further review of “competency restoration treatment” or for a preliminary hearing if competency were to be found.

RELATED: Virginia triple homicide suspect ruled incompetent to stand trial

Police have said Bernard possibly maintained an audio diary on his phone that includes his “visions” and things he had “heard from God.”

Authorities say Bernard killed his sister, Emily Marie Bivens, and her 1-year-old son Cullen Bivens, and his mother, Joan Bernard, in late August.

RELATED: Competency, sanity evaluations ordered for man accused of murdering mom, sister, nephew

Emily Bivens was married to Blake Bivens, a pitcher for the Montgomery Biscuits, an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

RELATED: Tampa Bay Rays minor league player’s wife and child murdered in Pittsylvania County, reports say

Bernard is charged with first-degree murder.

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