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Defense attorney raises competency issue in fatal crash

September 1, 2021 GMT

WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) — The attorney for a Minnesota man accused of killing a Watertown woman in a traffic crash nearly two years ago is questioning the defendant’s competency.

Defense attorney Tom Sannes asked Circuit Court Judge Carmen Means Wednesday for more time to obtain the medical records of 18-year-old Gage Stevenson. He’s charged with first-degree murder in the 2019 death of 43-year-old Dawn Meyer.

Sannes also expressed concern that Stevenson’s incarceration might be causing his mental health to deteriorate, KFGO reported. The Moorhead, Minnesota man appeared in court virtually from the Codington County Detention Center.

Sannes told the judge it was premature to enter a plea on Stevenson’s behalf. Means granted a two-week continuance.

Watertown police say Stevenson intentionally swerved his fast-moving car into the path of Meyer’s oncoming vehicle on Highway 212 in an attempt to take his own life.

Stevenson remains in jail on $1 million bond or surety.