Jury selection in the trial of two people accused in the murder of a Penn State faculty member was scheduled to begin Thursday. But a judge is allowing one of the defendants to receive a mental competency evaluation, delaying the trial indefinitely.
George Ishler is accused of pushing Ronald Bettig into a quarry where the Penn State faculty member died in August 2016. Police later found Bettig’s body in the quarry.
The delay is for both Ishler and his co-defendant Danelle Geier, who also faces charges. Ishler and Geier are accused of taking Bettig to the Potter Township quarry under the pretense that Ishler grew marijuana nearby.
According to a criminal complaint, Ishler told police that Bettig had signed a will and that he could gain financially from Bettig’s death.
Ishler’s attorney filed the request for a competency hearing after becoming concerned about his mental state, according to the district attorney.
Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said the judge felt Ishler’s attorney had presented enough evidence to have an exam on that issue.
“We’re very disappointed. This was a very serious matter. A man was killed pretty brutally, and this is going to cause substantial delay again. And, we never like that as the commonwealth.”
The case has been continued indefinitely.