Competency exam ordered for Michigan man charged in slayings


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A man charged in connection with two slayings in Michigan will undergo a competency examination.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that a St. Joseph County judge on Tuesday ordered the psychiatric evaluation to determine whether 32-year-old Zachary Patten is competent to stand trial. His preliminary examination scheduled for next week has been postponed.

Patten was charged last month in the July 20 fatal shooting of 31-year-old Graciela Portillo-Esparza. Authorities say Patten killed her during an argument involving someone else in Kalamazoo before driving about 30 miles (50 kilometers) and killing 29-year-old Shane Richardson — the husband of Patten’s ex-wife — in St. Joseph County’s Florence Township.

Patten was arrested July 21 after he approached officers in South Bend, Indiana, and told them he “needed to be arrested.”


Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette,