Virginia triple homicide suspect ruled incompetent to stand trial

Virginia News

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Accused Pittsylvania County triple murderer Matthew Bernard has been found incompetent to stand trial after a recent psychological evaluation.

A judge ordered a psych evaluation be completed by Oct. 31 to determine Bernard’s competency to stand trial and his mental state at the time of the August murders of his mother, sister, and nephew. In addition to the three murder charges, he also could face three charges of using a firearm to commit a felony if his competency is restored.

The court filing asserts Bernard could be rehabilitated to competency “solely on an inpatient basis in a hospital” and stand trial for the murders at a future date.

Joan Bernard, Emily Bivens, and Cullen Bivens (Pittsylvania Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Bernard was ordered transferred to a hospital “as soon as practicable, but no later than 10 days, from the receipt of this order,” the court filing said.

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

“If the defendant has not been restored to competency by six (6) months from the date of the commencement of treatment, the board, authority, or inpatient facility director or his designee shall send a report to the court so stating and indicating whether, in the director’s opinion, the defendant remains restorable to competency or whether the defendant should be (1) released from state custody; (2) committed pursuant to Virginia Code § 37.2-814 et seq.; or (3) certified pursuant to Virginia Code § 37.2-806 in the event he is found to be unrestorably incompetent,” the document said.

Read the court filing:

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