Judge finds Deal incompetent for trial

By Eric Kambach
Fauquier Times-Democrat

A mental examination of 57-year-old Judy Kay Deal of Amissville has found her incompetent to stand trial for the alleged murder of her husband in November.

In a rescheduled hearing Tuesday afternoon, Deal appeared before Judge Jeffery W. Parker in Fauquier County Circuit Court for the results of a competency assessment, which concluded that she was not competent for trial in her current mental state.

Fauquier County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Fisher handed Judge Parker a report from the examiner stating that Deal should undergo six months of psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

Judy Kay Deal
Courtesy photo
Judy Kay Deal

She is scheduled to return to circuit court Oct. 22 once the results of the lengthy evaluation are ready for review.

“It’s not over,” Fisher said after Tuesday’s hearing. “This is really just the beginning. Where we’re going is future treatment toward restoring competency.”

While reading through the report, Judge Parker was concerned with the proposed time the treatment would take.

“Isn’t October a little far out?” he asked Fisher.

“We chose October,” said Fisher, “because it will give the examiners time to collect all the information to prepare for the review.”

Deal was arrested and charged on Jan. 23 with the murder of her husband John Michael Deal, 60, of Hume, on Nov. 20 before attempting to take her own life. Her left eye is permanently closed due to an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Fauquier County sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of gunshots at a residence on Crest Hill Road in Hume that afternoon, where they found Deal with the self-inflicted gunshot wound. She was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital for emergency surgery.

She has been on house arrest, fitted with an electronic bracelet, since being released on a $25,000 bond from Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center in Winchester on Feb. 26.

She is represented by renowned trial attorney Blair Howard, of Flint Hill, whose clients have included Susanne Cummings, charged with the murder of her polo player boyfriend, and Lorena Bobbitt, charged with cutting off her husband’s penis.

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