Court Works To Determine Mental Capacity Of Accused Murderer

Wednesday, June 20th 2012, 5:10 pm
By: News 9

Joshua Durcho, the man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her four young children, was in court Wednesday afternoon. His defense team is trying to convince a Canadian County District Court judge that Durcho is mentally handicapped and ineligible for the death penalty.

Read more about the murders and case against Joshua Durcho

Family members took the stand in Durcho's defense Wednesday. Five witnesses, including Durcho's mother, stepdad, cousin and half-brother, we're all asked similar questions about the defendant's mental capacity.

It has been more than three years since police say Durcho killed Summer Rust and her four children. Since that time, the court has been wrestling over whether Durcho was and is legally mentally handicapped.

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The state and defense have both found Durcho to have an IQ of 72, which is in the margin of error for the death penalty to be taken off the table. However, the defense must still show Durcho had at least two areas of mental deficiency prior to turning 18. That's why Durcho's family members are being compelled to testify.

Durcho's mother told the court her son can't manage money, is very impulsive, has never been able to hold down a job and cannot read or write well.

The state argues that Durcho may not be smart, but is not mentally handicapped.

The court says there will be no ruling on Durcho's mental capacity until at least Monday. More testimony from expert witnesses is scheduled for Thursday and Monday.