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UPDATE: Judge Rules Homicide Defendant Incompetent

UPDATED Wednesday, March 27, 2013 --- 10:11 a.m.

LADYSMITH, Wis. (AP) -- A Rusk County judge has ruled a man accused of killing his wife is not competent to help with his defense.

That puts the trial for Donald Lazar on hold. The 67-year-old defendant will be held at a treatment facility until mental health officials believe he's able to stand trial.

Lazar is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of 65-year-old Darlene Lazar on Dec. 30 at the couple's home near Hawkins.

The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reports court records say Lazar admitted fatally shooting his wife after an argument about washing her hands and paying property taxes. Lazar told investigators he didn't realize his rifle was loaded, but shot his wife a second time because he knew he was already in trouble.

The court will get periodic reports of Lazar's progress.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted Friday, January 11, 2013 -- 7:35 a.m.

LADYSMITH, Wis. (AP) -- A man accused of fatally shooting his wife has pleaded not guilty in Rusk County Circuit Court.

Sixty-six-year-old Donald Lazar is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the Dec. 30 death of his wife, Darlene. Lazar told police he fired a gun, thinking it wasn't loaded, and shot his wife while she was on the phone with police. Prosecutors say he reloaded the rifle and shot her in the head.

The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram says Lazar is being held on $500,000 cash bond.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted Tuesday, January 1, 2013 --- 10:18 a.m.

LADYSMITH, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities have arrested a 65-year-old man in the shooting death of a woman in Rusk County.

Sheriff David Kaminski identifies the victim as 65-year-old Darlene Lazar of the Township of Hawkins.

WEAU-TV reports authorities got a 911 call at 5 p.m. Sunday from a woman who said she had been shot. When deputies arrived, they arrested a man and found a woman who had died inside the home from a gunshot wound.

The case will be referred to the district attorney. Investigators say they will request an initial charge of first-degree intentional homicide.

The sheriff's office says the investigation continues.

Copyright 2013. The Associated Press.

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