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3/6/2012 8:07:00 AM
One accused in Prescott Valley murder may take plea; second undergoing competency exam

Scott Orr
Special to the Tribune


PRESCOTT - Two men accused in a 2011 Prescott Valley homicide will no longer go to trial as expected in April, because one man is looking at accepting a plea bargain and the other has been found incompetent to stand trial.

Police arrested Tharpsky Oyal Brown, 25, and Richard Dean Widman, 53, both of Prescott Valley, in March 2011 at their residence in the 8400 block of Manley Drive on charges of first-degree murder, Prescott Valley Police spokesman Brandon Bonney said.

Police investigators said the victim, John Eugene Jackson, 37, of Prescott Valley, got into an argument with Brown and Widman that turned into a violent fight in a parking lot in the 8200 block of Jacque Drive.

The two suspects allegedly beat and stabbed Jackson, Bonney said. An autopsy showed that Jackson suffered multiple blunt-force injuries and multiple stab wounds to his head and neck.

The pair each face one count of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy. Widman is also charged with failure to register as a sex offender.

Widman had a preliminary competency exam and was found not competent to participate in his own defense; he now goes to a doctor for a full exam, after which he may be placed in Yavapai County's Restoration to Competency program if he is deemed a suitable patient.

Brown's attorney, Jeff McNeice, said that he just received evidence as part of disclosure, and as a result, he was not ready for an April trial, but "I understand the state may now make (a plea) offer."

Yavapai Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley vacated the trial date for Brown in anticipation of a possible agreement.

Related Stories:
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• Brown mulls plea in murder case
• One of two arrested after fatal fight incompetent to stand trial
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