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Man Accused of Killing Wife With Banjos Ruled Incompetent for Trial

November 20, 1991 GMT

TROY, Ohio (AP) _ A man accused of beating his wife to death with two banjos was ruled incompetent to stand trial Wednesday and committed to a mental hospital.

Edward Benson of West Milton was ordered to the Dayton Mental Health Center Forensic Hospital for up to 15 months by Miami County Common Pleas Judge Robert Lindeman.

Benson, 63, was charged with aggravated murder in the May 22 death of his 60-year-old wife, Katie Benson. She died after being beaten with two banjos at their home, Miami County sheriff’s deputies said.

Basing his decision on reports from three psychologists and on testimony from two of Benson’s sons, Lindeman said Benson understands proceedings against him but isn’t capable of helping his attorneys prepare his defense.

Lindeman asked for periodic reports on Benson’s progress and said he would hold another competency hearing in a year. He said ″there is substantial probability″ Benson may become competent by then.