Mental health evaluation determination moved to October for triple murder suspect
A court date for triple murder suspect Matthew Bernard has been moved.
Bernard was ruled incompetent to stand trial after a psychiatric evaluation, and was supposed to be in court January 16, but a new hearing was set for March 18, then May 13. A competency review determination is now set for October 29, 2020, for further review of competency restoration treatment and/or a preliminary hearing if he is found competent.
According to court records obtained by WDBJ7, a Pittsylvania County judge wanted treatment to continue with the goal that Bernard will be able to stand trial for the murders of three family members.
Bernard was ordered to undergo treatment on an inpatient basis in a hospital.
Court records indicate that if at any time after treatment begins, the person in charge of treatment believes competency has been restored, a report should be sent to the court regarding Bernard's capacity to understand the proceeding against him and his ability to assist his attorney.
But if the person or authority overseeing treatment does not believe Bernard has been restored to competency within six months of treatment, a report must still be sent to the court. That report must indicate whether Bernard's competency still has a chance to be restored, or he should be released from state custody, committed or legally certified competent.
Bernard is accused of killing his sister Emily Bevins, mother Joan Bernard and nephew, 14-month-old Cullen in Keeling in August 2019. Emily Bevins was married to minor league baseball player Blake Bevins; Cullen was his son.