Court finds Bench competent to stand trial in girl's death
For the fourth time in less than a year, Miles Sterling Bench has been found competent to stand trial on a first-degree murder charge.
According to court records, after hearing evidence Friday and the consideration of the application for the determination of competency, "the court has no doubt as to the competency of the defendant and order that criminal proceedings proceed."
Bench, 23, of Velma, has been in custody since June 2012 after he was arrested in the death of Braylee Rae Henry, a 16-year-old Velma girl who was killed after she went to the convenience store in Velma where Bench worked. He was arrested driving her car 130 miles away near Weatherford later that night.
Lawyers argued that Bench has been in solitary and segregated confinement, which has caused his mental condition to deteriorate. Testimony in his April competency trial indicated that he'd lost more than 100 pounds since September 2012 due to his deteriorating mental condition. The jury and a doctor who conducted a competency evaluation in March both determined Bench was competent to stand trial.
Bench had been found competent twice before the April jury trial in August and December 2013.