Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
Emerson Craig, 62, was scheduled to be sentenced Monday in Lincoln County District Court for the murder of his wife.Instead, Lincoln County District Judge Donald Rowlands announced that Craig’s defense attorney filed a motion on Friday, Feb. 24 requesting a mental competency evaluation.
Rowlands said the timing of the motion left him little time to review the documents. He apologized to the victim’s two daughters in the courtroom, who traveled to Nebraska for the sentencing.
“Obviously, we have family members here today,” he said. “Once the evaluation is completed, we will get to this as quickly as possible.”
Rowlands said the evaluation should be made a top priority for either available doctor.
Craig's attorney, Amanda Speichert, declined to comment Tuesday on whether or not Craig underwent any psychological evaluation at any point since his arrest, saying such information is confidential.
Her motion stated, "Attorney for the defendant has reviewed the Presentence Investigation where statements made by the defendant have raised concerns about his competency for defense counsel."
Craig was charged with murdering his wife Heidi on April 26, 2014 on their rural acreage south of Maxwell. After 805 days behind bars, he finally pleaded guilty Jan. 10 to second-degree murder.
The plea was entered just a week before his trial was scheduled to begin on the charge of premeditated first-degree murder. He pled guilty to a slightly lesser charge – causing death intentionally, but without premeditation.
Rowlands set Craig’s sentencing for March 27.