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Weld double-murder suspect asks court to find him incompetent to stand trial

NOTE: This story has been changed to reflect the following: 

Kevin Eastman’s status hearing — which was originally scheduled for 8:15 a.m., Jan. 11 — has been changed to 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 25.

 

GREELEY —The man accused of killing two Greeley residents last winter has filed a motion claiming to be incompetent to proceed with his criminal trial.

Attorneys for Kevin Dean Eastman filed the motion on Dec. 4.  Eastman was scheduled to be arraigned on formal charges in the murders of Scott Sessions and Heather Frank on Dec. 7.

Weld District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow, however, said he did not have enough information to proceed in that direction, so he ordered an evaluation and set a date for a competency hearing, instead.

Eastman will now appear before Kopcow at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 25. to determine if proceedings will continue or if he will be ordered to receive psychological treatment, instead.

Kevin Eastman

Eastman has been held in the Weld County jail since February of 2020 on multiple charges in the deaths of Sessions, a jazz musician, and a woman Sessions appears to have been dating.

During a preliminary hearing in October, prosecutors called the murder of Sessions an “ambush,” “a lie-in-wait” style murder and the subsequent murder of Frank as the need for Eastman to silence the only witness to Sessions’ murder.

Kopcow determined there was enough evidence to hold Eastman over for trial on seven felony counts, including 1st degree murder..

It was expected that Eastman would enter a plea of not guilty and waive his right to a speedy trial because both of his public defenders are due to be on maternity leave until the end of March 2021.

During Monday’s hearing, Eastman’s attorneys said another attorney from their office will represent Eastman until they return from leave.

Eastman’s  preliminary hearing was spread out over two days, including  8 hours of testimony into the evidence against the 48-year-old.

Eastman was originally arrested by Larimer County Sheriff deputies in connection with the killing of 54-year-old Sessions. Sessions was found dead near Old Flowers and Pingree Park roads in Bellvue, northwest of Fort Collins on Feb. 10. Sessions had not been seen since Feb. 8 when he told his father he was going to Fort Collins to see a friend.

Nearly a week after Sessions’ body was discovered, the 48-year-old Frank was found dead. Eastman was arrested in Kersey at a gas station filling a gas container on the same day Frank’s body was found in a wood pile near a smoldering burn pit at a home in Kersey.

Eastman, who appears in Weld District Court via video from the Weld County Jail, where he has been held without bail since his arrest, is charged with two counts of 1st Degree Murder, two counts of tampering with a deceased human body, two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

Sessions was killed by a sharp forced object to the neck and then his body burned. Frank died from two close-range gunshot wounds.

Because he is charged with a first-degree felony, Eastman’s evaluation will be videotaped.

 

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