Local / Virginia

Trial in entombed body case postponed indefinitely

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) — A woman charged with killing a man whose body was found entombed in concrete has been declared incompetent to stand trial.

The Roanoke Times reports (http://bit.ly/1LZkRZF ) that 52-year-old Janice Burney Widenor’s scheduled Dec. 7 trial has been postponed indefinitely.

Widenor is charged with killing 70-year-old James Austin and concealing his body inside a house in Elliston.

Defense attorney Dennis Nagel says Austin had been a fugitive living with Widenor. He says Austin died of natural causes. Widenor has claimed she was pressured into confessing to murder.

A report submitted to Montgomery County Circuit Court earlier this month says doctors determined that Widenor was not competent for trial. Court papers say Widenor is undergoing mental health treatment with the goal of restoring her competency. A hearing is set for Jan. 13.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com

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