Vt. man competent in stabbing caseNovember 16,2013Vt. man competent
in stabbing case
NORTH HAVERHILL, N.H. — A Vermont man charged with killing a private school trustee at a New Hampshire hotel has been found competent to stand trial.
WMUR-TV reported that a Grafton County judge’s ruling Thursday on Rodney Hill was based on a report from a state doctor who examined Hill. Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed on the findings.
The West Danville man was indicted in June in the stabbing death of 70-year-old Catherine Houghton of California in the lobby of the Hampton Inn in Littleton in January. After that, his lawyers had said they would invoke a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Houghton, a 1960 graduate of the White Mountain School in Bethlehem, was in town for meetings of the school’s board of trustees and had checked into the hotel.
Prosecutors said that Houghton and Hill didn’t know one another and the attack appears to have been random.
Hill told police he was going through a divorce and was angry at an email he had gotten from his boss when he punched and stabbed Houghton. Hill told police he was Jesus and believed the woman he attacked was the devil or his father out to hurt his family, according to court records.
Hill, a self-employed welder who also recently worked at the Ryegate Power Station, also said he was taking an anti-psychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar depression.
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