Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Brooke Wilberger: Suspect faces competency hearing

Story from
May 10, 2006
Joel Courtney Doesn't Want A Woman Lawyer
By Brian Barker and Web Staff
ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Joel Courtney made a court appearance
in New Mexico on Wednesday for a hearing to determine whether he is competent to stand trial.
Courtney is facing charges surrounding the abduction and rape
of a 22-year-old University of New Mexico student.
He also faces murder
charges in Oregon in the case surrounding the disappearance of Brooke Wilberger.
Although her body has never been found, investigators have charged Courtney
with aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and sodomy charges in the case.
During Courtney's court appearance on Wednesday, the judge was unable to
determine competency because the accused wanted a new attorney - a man instead
of a woman. There was also talk of hiring an attorney from Portland.

Courtney's attorney, Leanne Kerr, told the judge she was having problems
working with him. "I'm getting zero cooperation from my client," she said.
Is this latest move a delay tactic? The prosecutor in the case believes so.
The longer Courtney stays in New Mexico, the longer he avoids the aggravated
murder charges in the Brooke Wilberger case in Oregon.

You can read more about Brooke Wilberger in my previous post on her at

Photos from the Charley Project: Brooke, Joel Courtney.

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