James Ayers Trial Set for June 25 in Killing of Juliana Mensch

The man accused of killing 19-year-old Juliana Mensch in March will go to trial June 25 for first-degree murder. Police say 32-year-old James Ayers drove Mensch's car to a friend's workplace and said he'd strangled Mensch a week earlier; he was arrested at a rehab facility later that day.

Ayers pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday, but his lawyer, Harry John Williams Jr., said he believes prosecutors will ask at a hearing tomorrow to have Ayers evaluated to see if he's mentally fit to stand trial.
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"At the time this happened, he had a pending charge, and he was out on pretrial release because the court had found him not competent to assist his attorney in his defense," Williams said. "The prosecutors probably going to want a new mental health expert to determine his competency."

A request for comment from the State Attorney's Office was not returned.

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