Clarence Pedersen

A motion to determine competency was filed for a Washington man charged with first degree murder.

Public Defender Peter Persaud filed a motion for the court to order a competency evaluation and to stay all proceedings and deadlines pending a competency determination for 64-year-old Clarence Dean Pedersen, who’s charged with the murder of his roommate 70-year-old Ed Jones. Iowa Code states that a defendant is incompetent if he is suffering from a mental disorder which prevents the defendant from appreciating the charge, understanding the proceedings, or assisting effectively in the defense. The motion states that the Iowa Supreme Court found Pedersen incompetent to stand trial in 1981 when he was charged with first degree murder in the death of his brother-in-law as testimony showed he suffered from schizophrenia and intermittent psychosis. Persaud states Pedersen doesn’t currently know his true and correct name and to the best of counsel’s knowledge is no longer taking the antipsychotic medication he has been prescribed for the last several decades. Washington County Attorney John Gish filed a motion to suspend arraignment proceedings and hold a hearing to determine competency next week.