A Minneapolis man accused of abusing his developmentally disabled daughters may not be competent to stand trial.
That's according to the attorney representing Jerry Curry, 52, who is charged with eight felonies and one misdemeanor for offenses including rape, stalking and assault. The mother of Curry's daughters, Shelia Wilson, 48, also faces multiple charges.
Attorney William "Butch" Selman stood next to Curry in court Thursday and told Hennepin County judge Fred Karasov he had concerns about his client's ability to participate in his own defense. Selman asked that Curry undergo what's called a Rule 20.01 competency examination, on the eve of Curry's trial, which was scheduled to begin Monday.
"We don't take Rule 20 requests lightly," said Selman, stressing that his request was not an attempt to get more time to prepare for trial. "We're not saying he's incompetent but we have reason to suspect he is."
Karasov asked Curry if he understood what his attorneys were talking about.
"Kind of," said Curry, quietly.
Karasov ordered the exam. Prosecutors did not object. The order will delay the trial at least six weeks.
Selman also said Curry has long suffered from mental illness, but he said that's not the same as mental incompetency. If tests show Curry is incompetent, meaning he can't comprehend his legal circumstances, the trial will be delayed until his competency is restored. When asked if he was prepared to mount an insanity defense, Selman said right now he'll wait to see what the court-appointed examiner says about Curry's condition.