Lawyer for man accused of killing wife asks for mental fitness e - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Lawyer for man accused of killing wife asks for mental fitness exam

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HARRISBURG, Ill. -- The lawyer for a Saline County murder suspect asks for a mental fitness examination.

Brian Burns faces murder charges in the death of his wife, Carla. The two were going through a divorce in March 2016 when prosecutors believe Brian killed Carla, burned her body and scattered the ashes.

Defense attorney Dwayne Verity said Burns has a right to be examined.

"All I know is after 30 years of dealing with, like, eight murder defendants and hundreds and hundreds of felons, the instinct I've developed tells me that we've got an issue here," Verity said.

Verity said in his motion that Burns can't keep his train of thought, often mixes up his murder case with other legal issues and shows signs of PTSD.

Verity said despite the motion, he's ready for trial otherwise.

"Put 14 in a (jury) box and let's see what they say," Verity said. "But I think he ought to be examined first because the legislature says it's his right."

A hearing on the mental fitness exam request is set for Jan. 15.

The trial is scheduled for Jan. 23, but that could change depending on what the judge decides about the exam.

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