Regional
1:11 pm
Sat August 29, 2009

Soldier Charged in Shootings Found Incompetent

El Paso – A Fort Bliss soldier charged with murder in the shooting death of a local high school student has been found incompetent to stand trial.
The U.S. Army released a statement Saturday saying Army Spc. Gerald Polanco will be transferred to the Bureau of Prisons and hospitalized for up to four months. The Army will then reevaluate Polanco to see if he can stand trial.
Polanco is accused of fatally shooting 18-year-old Ezra Gerald Smith and wounding another soldier outside the main gates at Fort Bliss on April 24.
His lawyer has said Polanco sought mental health treatment before the shooting. The 37-year-old is an Iraq war veteran and had been serving as a military police soldier with the 1st Armored Division.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.