More exams ordered in sister slaying

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — Before a murder trial begins, a Lincoln Park man will undergo additional competency hearings as ordered by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Edward Ewell.

Gerald Eugene Dennis Jr. was arraigned Tuesday on first-degree murder charges for the Feb. 28 slaying of Deborah Siefert, his sister. Previously, Dennis underwent two competency evaluations during preliminary hearings at 25th District Court.

Lincoln Park police arrested Dennis following the Feb. 28 homicide of Siefert in the home they shared in the 1500 block of College Avenue. Investigators said that Dennis suffered a history of mental illness and drug abuse, and allegedly beat Siefert to death with a jack handle.

Wayne County Circuit Court Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller said that Dennis was ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluations to determine his competency to stand trial and participate in his own defense.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled to review results of the exam Nov. 1. Dennis remained in custody without bond.

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