Competency questioned in Coontz case

Gail Coontz
Gail Coontz

By Jon Chrisos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Competency questions are coming up yet again in the case of a Louisville woman accused of killing her kids. A new report on the competency of 40-year-old Gail Coontz is now in the hands of prosecutors and the defense team.

The case against Coontz has seen a lot of evaluations and delays since her two kids were found shot to death in March of 2008. Now her lawyers are raising competency questions for a second time.

In court Tuesday, Coontz kept her head down on the defense table during the hearing. In June 2010 Judge Mary Shaw ruled Coontz competent to stand trial, which means she has enough understanding to participate in the trial.

But her defense team asked for another evaluation. That psychiatric evaluation is now being read over by prosecutors and the defense team, but is not public because of health and medical privacy concerns.

"There are people that because of mental disability or retardation or some other problem, those people cannot be tried," Defense Attorney Mike Lemke said.

Still the Commonwealth is confident in its case even if the defense team builds an insanity defense.

"We will put on evidence to prove otherwise anticipate we will be prepared to rebut that," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Foster said.

Coontz also faces several other charges. Police say she held a University of Louisville counselor hostage on campus after killing her kids. No one was hurt in that hostage situation.

The competency hearing with a doctor is set for May 9, exactly four months before her trial is set to start.

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