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Pinal County murder defendant being evaluated

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CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) - A Casa Grande man accused of fatally stabbing his mother is being evaluated to determine whether he's mentally competent to stand trial.

Judge Henry Gooday of Pinal County Superior Court ordered the commitment of Joseph Caine Cecil to the state mental hospital in Phoenix for up to 15 months.

Cecil is charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 4 killing of Ronna Thomas. He is also accused of stabbing his aunt and of trying to assault a neighbor attempting to assist the women.

While Cecil has pleaded not guilty, the Casa Grande Dispatch reports that Cecil reportedly told emergency responders that God told him to stab the women.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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