Burke Ruled Competent for Trial
By WestKyStar Staff
MURRAY, KY - A Murray man charged with stabbing his mother several times has been ruled competent to stand trial.
The Paducah Sun reports Circuit Court Judge Dennis Foust said during Michael Joseph Burke’s hearing that two mental health evaluations found Burke competent. Foust said he plans to issue a written order on the matter soon.
Police charged Burke with murder last July after they say he went to his mother’s apartment and fatally stabbed her. Karen McClellan was found dead in her bedroom. Witnesses told investigators Burke entered the apartment and woke her up. According to the Calloway County coroner, McClellan had been stabbed more than 20 times.
Police said Burke was in possession of a knife and bloody clothes when they went to his house.
Burke’s attorney, public defender Cheri L. Riedel, said Burke was not properly medicated when the stabbing occurred. According to Murray police, he had visited a mental health facility a week prior to the stabbing. Reidel said his medication has been regulated and Burke now seems to have better clarity.
Burke received an evaluation at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange last fall. Riedel also had him independently evaluated, she said. Both evaluations showed Burke to be competent. He is due in court for a status hearing on Feb. 15.