Jury finds man mentally competent in “bunker killings” case

The man charged in the killing of a High Desert couple at an abandoned military bunker in 2008 has been found to be mentally competent to stand trial.

Jurors returned the verdict Wednesday in the trial for Collin Lee McGlaughlin of West Covina after receiving the case for deliberation a day earlier, in Victorville Superior Court, according to court records.

McGlaughlin, 21, returns to court Jan.27. He’s accused of shooting to death Christopher Cody Thompson, 18, and his 16-year-old girlfriend Bodhi Sherzer-Potter, following a party at the bunker near Helendale.
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Mental competency trial begins for man in High Desert bunker killings

VICTORVILLE — A pair of mental health experts may have concluded that a West Covina man accused of the execution-style slayings of a young High Desert couple at an abandoned military bunker is mentally competent to go trial for the killings, say lawyers.
But the decision about Collin Lee McGlaughlin’s present mental competence won’t be up to the experts.

A jury began hearing witness testimony Wednesday as a trial began in Victorville Superior Court to determine whether McGlaughlin is compentent to go trial for the 2008 deaths of Christopher Cody Thompson, 18, of Apple Valley and his 16-year-old girlfriend, Bodhisattva Sherzer-Potter of Helendale.

The jury will decide whether McGlaughlin is mentally competent now, not his state of mind when the crimes occurred.

But before any witnesses testified Wednesday, lawyers for both sides delivered their opening remarks. McGlaughlin is presumed competent, and it’s up to the defense to prove otherwise.
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