Competency hearing delayed again for triple-slaying suspect
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.
But the review has been pushed to late October. James Martin, Bernard’s attorney, wrote in a news release that that the delay is for further review of “competency restoration treatment” or for a preliminary hearing if competency were to be found.
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.
Emily Bivens was married to Blake Bivens, a pitcher for the Montgomery Biscuits, an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Bernard is charged with first-degree murder.