Minnesota Pipe Wrench Murderer Found Mentally Unfit to Stand Trial

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A few years back, a man who would be later be determined to be mentally incompetent to stand trial beat a mother and her son to death with a pipe wrench. When confronted by the police, he said he did so because the two “were acting weird.”

In his new case, William Lynn Hillman, 21, was charged in Otter Tail County District Court with two counts of second-degree murder; He was accused of killing Denise McFadzen, 42, and her 21-year-old son Dalton McFadzen, the Star Tribune reports.

Again, his defense was a mental illness; Hillman had been ruled mentally ill in 2016 after punching his mother and threatening to kill her in her Pine River, Minnesota home, court records show.

After Hillman killed the two, he called the police told them he did a “bad thing” and needed to be apprehended. He later apologized for the killings during questioning by law, according to the complaint. “I’m sorry,” Hillman said. “I’m sorry I did it.” Source: New York Post

 According to Otter Tail County District Court documents, Hillman was found incompetent to stand trial and was committed to the state mental hospital in St. Peter. He will be held there until and if his mental health can be stabilized to the point where he can competently participate in his defense.

 Under Minnesota law, a report on Hillman’s competency to participate in legal proceedings is required not less than once every six months. A review hearing is set for Dec. 17, 2020.

Under Minnesota law, “a criminal defendant is incompetent to stand trial if the defendant (1) “`lacks sufficient ability to consult with a reasonable degree of rational understanding with defense counsel'” or (2) “`is mentally ill or mentally deficient to be incapable of understanding the proceedings or participating in the defense.'”

 The state must show the defendant’s competence by a fair preponderance of the evidence.

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