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Giles County woman found not mentally competent to stand trial for husband's murder

Giles County woman found not mentally competent to stand trial for husband's murder


PEARISBURG — A Giles County woman charged with murdering her husband is not mentally able to assist with her own defense, and must receive restorative treatment before standing trial, a judge in the county’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court ruled this week.

Mary Huskey Palmer, 50, of Narrows is charged with second-degree murder and using a gun to commit a felony for the death of Arthur “Woody” Woodrow Palmer III, a sergeant at the New River Valley Regional Jail who was 38 when he died in July.

Palmer still has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 15, but both Commonwealth’s Attorney Bobby Lilly and defense attorney Fred Kellerman of Christiansburg said this week that nothing more is likely to happen with Palmer’s case until state mental health officials determine that she has been restored to competency.

On Monday, Judge Stephanie Murray Shortt found that Palmer required treatment before the case could proceed.

Mary and Arthur had married at the end of 2018 and were in the process of divorcing when Arthur Palmer was killed, according to court records.

Earlier this year, Lilly said that Arthur Palmer’s body was found at his home on July 5, two days after investigators think that he died.



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