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Man charged with killing parents sent to state hospital

Peter Sharp is being held in the Emery County Jail for investigation of homicide in the shotgun slaying of his parents, William and Charmaine Sharp of Castle Dale, Utah.
Peter Sharp is being held in the Emery County Jail for investigation of homicide in the shotgun slaying of his parents, William and Charmaine Sharp of Castle Dale, Utah.
Emery County Jail

CASTLE DALE — A man charged with fatally shooting both his parents last year has been found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial and will be sent to the Utah State Hospital for treatment.

Peter Simon Sharp, 27, has been evaluated by two mental health professionals while in jail and both concluded that Sharp is not competent, according to Sharp's defense attorney, David Allred.

Seventh District Judge George Harmond on Tuesday heard reports prepared by both experts before ordering that Sharp to be taken to the state hospital.

Sharp is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, for allegedly shooting his parents, William, 51, and Charmaine, 54, on Oct. 21, 2009 in their home at 400 E. 300 North in Castle Dale.

Sharp also faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony, for allegedly aiming a shotgun at one of his sisters.

No motive for the slayings has been established, but relatives said Sharp started to show signs of mental problems about six years ago after a car accident in which Sharp received serious injuries. Various relatives have said that Sharp has not been the same since, at times he seems confused and cannot recognize his own family members, appears to be functioning at a 5-year-old level, and has undergone some kind of mental health treatment.

Four of Sharp's nine siblings were in the house the day of the shootings and police said two of them tried to wrestle a gun away from Sharp.

The judge set a review hearing for June 1.

— Linda Thomson