Las Vegas Sun

December 21, 2014

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Supreme Court orders hearing on sanity of slaying suspect

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court has ordered another hearing on the sanity of a deaf mute man from Las Vegas accused of fatally stabbing his wife in front of their four children in November 2009.

The court on Thursday overturned a ruling by District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell, who found Farid Ashraf mentally incompetent to stand trial and that there was no probability of him attaining competency in the foreseeable future.

Bell dismissed murder and child abuse charges.

Ashraf, who immigrated from Afghanistan, has been under treatment at a state hospital in Sparks for about three years as the issue of his mental state has been argued, according to court records.

He communicates through sign language, and a defense linguistic expert has testified he will never be able to understand the charges against him. Psychiatrists say Ashraf is still mentally incompetent but is showing signs of improvement, according to court records.

The Supreme Court said Bell failed to hold a hearing on all the evidence regarding Ashraf’s mental state.

The court ordered Bell to hold additional hearings.

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