The upcoming competency review hearing for a teenager accused of a triple homicide in Keeling last summer has been postponed once more.
Matthew Bernard, 18, was set to have his competency review determination hearing Thursday, but it has been rescheduled for March 18 in Pittsylvania County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, his attorney confirmed Tuesday.
The hearing has been continued so that Bernard can seek “further competency restoration treatment,” defense attorney James C. Martin wrote in a news release.
Competency is the determination of whether a defendant can understand the charges brought against him, and whether they are able to work with their counsel.
During Bernard’s Sept. 12 arraignment, Martin motioned for a competence and sanity evaluation.
Following that motion, an October court hearing was delayed because of mental incompetence.
Bernard is facing multiple first-degree murder charges and related firearms charges in the slayings of his mother, Joan Bernard, 62; his sister, Emily Bernard Bivens, 25; and her 14-month-old son, Cullen Bivens, at the family’s Keeling home Aug. 27.
The case made national headlines following a manhunt with more than 100 state and local police that ended with him being arrested naked and drenched in mace.