HOLDREGE — After two competency evaluations, a Holdrege man accused of killing two men and seriously injuring his lawyer, has been found incompetent to stand trail.
Manuel Gomez, 46, was found unfit to stand trial Tuesday in Phelps County District Court in the Feb. 21 shooting of Raymond Burton, 65; David Rogers, 54; and Doyle Morse, 64, at their individual residences in Holdrege. Judge Terri Harder committed Gomez to the Lincoln Regional Center for treatment. However, because of the overcrowding issues at that facility, Gomez will begin his treatment at the Phelps County Jail, where he has been held since his arrest.
Gomez underwent a competency evaluation in May, but special prosecutor Jason Bergevin of the Nebraska Attorney General’s office and Phelps County Attorney Michael Henry asked that Gomez have a second evaluation after citing what they called “ambiguities and inconsistencies” in the initial evaluation.
Dr. Klaus Hartmann from the Lincoln Regional Center performed the first evaluation, and Dr. Theodore J. Delaet, an Omaha licensed psychologist, performed the second evaluation of Gomez.
During Tuesday’s hearing both prosecution and Gomez’s defense attorneys, Jeff Pickens of the Nebraska Commission of Public Advocacy and Phelps County Public Defender Nancy Freburg, agreed Gomez needed treatment.
“We feel we’ll be able to work better with him once he receives treatment,” Pickens said.
Burton and Rogers died Feb. 21 at Sunrise View Apartments in Holdrege where they lived. Morse, a lawyer who was representing Gomez at the time he was shot, suffered wounds at his house at 416 Logan St., which he also used as an office. Morse was able to call 911 for help after he was shot.
When authorities arrived Morse identified Gomez as his shooter, records indicate. A motive to the shootings hasn’t been released.
Gomez is charged with two counts of felony first-degree murder, one count of felony first-degree assault, three counts of use of a firearm to commit a felony, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of being an habitual criminal. He remains at the Phelps County Jail without bond.