LACONIA – A Belmont man accused in the ax murder of his mother and brother will receive a second mental health evaluation by a second doctor, a Belknap County Superior Court judge has ruled.
Asst. N.H. Attorney General Jeff Strelzin did not object to a second competency hearing for Shawn Carter, 32, who is accused of chopping to death his mother and brother in May 2013 in a home the three shared in Belmont.
Carter is charged with four counts of homicide – two for each victim and each offering a different version of the crime. He is being held without bail in the Belknap County House of Corrections.
The motion says that Carter has been evaluated twice by Dr. Daniel Comiskey of the N.H. Office of Forensic Examiners, who concluded Carter is competent to stand trial.
Carter's attorneys continued to have concerns about his competency and requested the services of Dr. Phillip Kinsler, a forensic psychologist in Hanover, to do a second, independent evaluation. The court agreed to pay $5,000 for the evaluation.
According to court paperwork, Kinsler met with Carter on Dec. 2. However, the interview was cut short and the evaluation could not be completed.
The most recent motion grants an additional $5,000 to the defense team to have Kinsler conduct a second interview.
Carter is indigent and is entitled to a competent defense. Settled case law provides that an indigent defendant is provided with funding for services other than counsel.
Carter is being represented by two attorneys from the N.H. Public Defenders Office.
The hearing on the recently ordered competency hearing is scheduled for Jan. 22.
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