By Wayne Gates
John Crum is still incompetent to stand trial for the murder of Marsha Thigpen in August of 2017.
Crum was charged with charged Thigpen’s murder last September.
Her body was found Aug. 9 on Ripley Day Hill Road in Ripley. Her cause of death is listed as a gunshot wound to the head. Crum was later arrested in Adams County and charged with her murder.
Common Pleas Judge Scott Gusweiler received a report dated August 27 that stated that in the opinion of a doctor, Crum was not competent to stand trial.
“The court will find that as of August 27 he remained incompetent, that he was still incapable of understanding the proceedings against him or assisting in his own defense,” Gusweiler said in court at a hearing on the matter on Sept. 4.
Gusweiler added that according to the report, Crum was showing improvement after treatment at Summit Behavioral Health in Cincinnati.
“There remains a substantial likelihood that Mr. Crum can be restored to competence in the time allowed by law,” Gusweiler said. He set another hearing on Crum’s competency for December 10.
At a previous competency hearing for Crum last May, Brown County Prosecutor Zac Corbin said that there is a difference between pleading insanity and being incompetent to stand trial.
“An insanity plea means that a defendant didn’t know right from wrong at the time of the offense. If someone is incompetent, that means that they cannot assist in their own defense at the present time,” Corbin said.
Corbin added that sending Crum to Summit is an involuntary commitment ordered Gusweiler and that he has not been released from custody. The state has one year to attempt to restore Crum to competency, according to Corbin.