|Menke competent to stand trial|
|Friday, March 21, 2014 8:09 PM|
Tamara Menke, 48, Ohio City, appeared before Judge Charles Steele in Common Pleas Court Friday morning for a competency hearing.
A final pretrial in the case has been set for April 16 and a trial was set to begin on May 12.
Menke is accused of shooting her mother, Barbara Robinson, and causing her death on Nov. 14. Robinson died en route to a hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds. Menke’s father was also shot in the incident but not fatally. The couple was shot with a rifle in their Fulton Street home in Van Wert.
By the time police got to the house, there was no shooter but Menke’s name was given to officers. A search was begun for the suspect, centering on the Brittsan Road property but also including other properties as far west as the state line.
When law enforcement resumed a search on the morning of Nov. 15, the then 47-year-old Menke was spotted near one of the buildings on her property. She was taken into custody and brought to Van Wert for questioning and to be placed in jail.
Menke is charged with aggravated murder, which is punishable by life in prison without parole or with the possibility of parole in 20, 25 or 30 years. The other four charges are: attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 11 years in prison and a $20,000 fine; felonious assault, a second-degree felony punishable by up to eight years in prison and a $15,000 fine; aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 11 years in prison and a $20,000 fine; and burglary, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 36 months in prison and a fine of $10,000.
Each of the five counts has a specification attached that she used a firearm in the commission of the crimes. The specifications would add one more year in prison for each count.