Alleged killer awaits competency hearing

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — A scheduled court date for a 43-year-old man accused of murdering his sister was adjourned Tuesday pending the results of a competency evaluation.

Gerald Eugene Dennis Jr. remains in custody without bond, charged with the Feb. 28 murder of his sister, Deborah Seifert. In May a scheduled competency hearing was adjourned by 25th District Court Judge Michael Ciungan at the request of defense counsel, which requested an independent examination. The results of that evaluation — to determine if Dennis understands the charges against him and is capable of participating in his own defense — had not been received by the court in time for last week’s hearing.

Dennis was charged with first-degree murder for the homicide of his sister, with whom he lived in the 1500 block of College Avenue. Police responded to an early morning call from a woman who found Seifert unresponsive.

Seifert died shortly after at Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center.

Police and prosecutors allege that Dennis beat her to death with an automobile jack handle.

Dennis reportedly suffered from a history of mental illness and drug abuse, and faces up to life in prison if tried and convicted of first-degree murder.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)