Competency Hearing Set for Man Police Say Stabbed Cousin to Death

Sean Foster makes first appearance in jail court on murder charge. (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa – A hearing has been scheduled to determine whether a Des Moines man accused of stabbing his cousin to death back in December is competent to stand trial.

A public defender representing 30-year-old Sean Foster asked that an evaluation of Foster’s competency be completed. In a motion filed last week, the attorney says Foster has had multiple mental health diagnoses, and though on medication, he “is currently experiencing symptoms of mental health disorders.”

The attorney says that likely prevents Foster from fully understanding the charges he faces and the legal proceedings. He also claims it keeps Foster from assisting in his own defense.

Also part of the motion, is a request for proceedings to be suspended until the court holds a hearing to determine Foster’s competency.

A judge granted the request for a competency evaluation Monday. A hearing has been scheduled for February 13th in the matter.

Foster is charged with first degree murder in the death of 50-year-old Albert Barron III. Barron’s body was found on Dec. 19th on the property of the home the cousins shared in the 2400 block of Indianola Ave.

The body was discovered after Barron’s employer contacted police when he didn’t show up for work for a few days. Police found extensive blood evidence in the home and signs of a violent struggle.

Investigators say Barron had been dead for several days before his body was discovered.

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