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Competency Hearing for Pedersen Set for Friday

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A hearing will be held on Friday to determine if further evaluation is needed for Clarence Dean Pedersen in regards to his competency to stand trial for a charge of first degree murder.

In July, Pedersen was charged with the murder of his roommate Edward Jones. In August, the courts ordered Pedersen to undergo psychological evaluations. Iowa Code states that a defendant is incompetent if he is suffering from a mental disorder which prevents the defendant from appreciating the charge, understanding the proceedings, or assisting effectively in the defense. Public Defender Peter Persaud stated that in 1981 the Iowa Supreme Court found Pedersen incompetent to stand trial, suffering from schizophrenia and intermittent psychosis. The hearing will take place Friday at 2:45 p.m. at the Washington County Courthouse.