LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – A judge has ordered a competency evaluation for a defendant in a Columbiana County murder case, the Morning Journal reports.
Michael Blower, of Salem, pleaded not guilty due to insanity to charges of aggravated murder and murder with firearm specifications. He appeared in court Monday for a preliminary hearing in his case.
Blower is accused of shooting and killing 40-year-old Rusty Steele on West Spruce Street in Lisbon on March 3. Police say an argument led up to the shooting.
Steele had a gunshot wound to his chest when rescue crews arrived, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
A motion filed by Blower’s attorneys, Louis DeFabio and Holly Hanni, states that questions have been raised about Blower’s competence to stand trial. The attorneys said discussions with their client, as well as his family members, have led them to request a psychological examination to determine his mental condition at the time of the alleged offenses.