PASCO, Wash. -A new state law has slowed down the case of a man charged with second-degree murder.
Doctors at Eastern State Hospital have declared Joseph Hart mentally competent to stand trial, but before the doctors can evaluate whether or not Hart is insane, a statute recently passed by state legislature requires a private doctor examine Hart first.
Hart's defense attorney, Scott Johnson, and Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant in court Tuesday described the additional evaluation as a waste of time and taxpayers' money.
Sant says the intent of the legislature is to reduce crowding at the hospital.
Hart, 29, is accused in the stabbing death of his roommate, Rodger Lincoln, 56, in March of 2012.
After the private doctor examines Hart, which Johnson says will be next week, Hart could possibly make a case that he was insane at the time of the stabbing.