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Court Orders Mental Evaluation of Man Charged in Hatchet Slaying

Trial date postponed for Claude Alexander Allen III, who was charged with first-degree murder.

Caption: Claude A. Allen III (Credit: Montgomery County Police)
Caption: Claude A. Allen III (Credit: Montgomery County Police)

A Gaithersburg man charged in a hatchet killing is being evaluated to determine whether he is mentally competent to stand trial.

Claude Alexander Allen III, the son of a former aide to President George W. Bush, was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder. 

Allen, 21, of Gaithersburg, was arrested May 24 after calling Montgomery County police to report that he killed an intruder who tried to break into his family's home, Patch has reported

Officers responding to the home reportedly found the garage covered in blood. The victim, Michael Phillip Harvey, turned out to be Allen’s friend. Harvey's body was found stuffed in a large trash can in a wooded area behind the home, The Washington Post reports, citing court records.

Allen reportedly gave at least three different accounts of what happened that night, The Post reports (See: “Man accused in friend’s hatchet killing tried to cover up crime, charging documents say” at WashingtonPost.com).

Allen’s trial was supposed to begin Monday in Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville.

But Circuit Court Judge Terrence J. McGann ordered that Allen be examined by the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene after his defense entered a plea of “Not Criminally Responsible” on Aug. 19, according to online court records. 

Steven D. Kupferberg, Allen’s attorney, told The Gazette that Allen was being evaluated by the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup.

A hearing was scheduled for January 2014; in the meantime, the trial has been rescheduled to March 2014, court records show.

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