USA Harvest founder Stan Curtis ruled competent to stand trial o - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

USA Harvest founder Stan Curtis ruled competent to stand trial on theft charges

Stan Curtis walking into the federal courthouse on October 4. Stan Curtis walking into the federal courthouse on October 4.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - USA Harvest founder Stan Curtis was found competent on Thursday to stand trial on theft charges. He has two weeks to appeal a judge's ruling.

A federal indictment accuses Curtis of stealing money from the charity and failing to pay taxes on it.

Last week, psychiatrists for both the state and the defense offered different opinions about Curtis' mental state. Neither denied that a series of stomach, bowel and kidney ailments left Curtis with brain damage and cognitive impairment, but they differed when they testified before Magistrate Dave Whalin as to whether the damage was permanent or severe enough to continue to make him unfit to stand trial.

State psychiatrist Dr. Amy Trivette concluded Curtis had made substantial progress compared to an earlier exam. "He's solidly competent to assist in his defense," Trivette testified last Friday.

But defense psychiatrist Dr. Walter Butler testified that Curtis suffers from a form of dementia that will not get better. "He can repeat, but he can't explain," Butler said.

Whalin ruled on Thursday that Curtis is able to understand the charges he faces and their consequences and assist in his defense.

Curtis' attorney said last week that his client may petition to plead guilty if Judge Whalin determined he is competent to stand trial.

It was not immediately clear on Thursday whether Curtis planned to follow through.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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