Spencer pretrial hearings continued

WEST UNION – Pretrial hearings for the Doddridge County teen charged with killing his parents and younger sister have been continued, pending completion of a psychological exam.

Joe Spencer, 17, was set for a pretrial hearing Tuesday in Doddridge County Circuit Court. Spencer’s attorney Rodney Windom said the hearings have been continued, pending the completion of psychological exams.

A pretrial hearing for March 22 was continued because the competency evaluation report was complete, but was not delivered to the court or the attorneys.

“We have had one and he is having another (exam) on the motion of the defense,” Windom said.

Spencer, who is charged with three counts of murder, did not appear in the courtroom.

On Sept. 3, 2012, Spencer called Doddridge County 911 saying he shot his parents and younger sister at their home outside West Union, police said.

The victims were identified as 49-year-old Fred Spencer, Dixie Spencer, 47, and 9-year-old Patience “PJ” Spencer. Police said Spencer told the officer who responded to the call he used his father’s 9mm handgun in the killings and then called 911 to report the incident.

In October, Circuit Court Judge Tim Sweeney granted a motion by the state to try the teen as an adult. Spencer was indicted by a grand jury in February. He did not enter a plea at his arraignment with Windom opting him to defer until officials received the results from a psychiatric evaluation.