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Mental competency exam ordered for murder suspect

JANESVILLE, WI (WTAQ) - A Rock County judge will find out if a 75-year-old man is mentally competent to stand trial for the murder of his neighbor.

Daniel Bellard is charged with homicide in a February 6th incident in which he allegedly shot and killed 59-year-old Christine Gestrich at his farm west of Beloit – and then shot and wounded himself.

Prosecutors said Bellard killed Gestrich because he feared that she would steal some of his property.

Bellard made his first court appearance Tuesday, after being treated at a Madison hospital for five months following his gunshot wounds.

The defense first raised the mental competency concerns.

Rock County Circuit Judge James Daley has called a hearing for July 24th to review the status of the case. The competency hearing is set for August 8th. 

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