Mental evaluation sought for man accused in slaying

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UNIONTOWN (AP) – The attorney representing one of two men charged in the strangulation death of a woman whose body was found in a western Pennsylvania river wants his client examined to determine whether he’s competent to stand trial.

Twenty-four-year-old Paul Bannasch of Hopwood and 24-year-old Craig Rugg of Connellsville are charged in the death of 52-year-old Margaret Kriek of Connellsville. Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty against both men.

The (Uniontown) Herald Standard says Fayette County public defender Jeffrey Whiteko filed a request Wednesday seeking a mental evaluation of Bannasch.

Police allege that Rugg told them they killed Kriek shortly after she left a Connellsville bar with them in June because she changed her mind about having sex with them. Both defendants have pleaded not guilty.

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