Accused Killer Deemed Incompetent

The man accused of robbing and killing an Asheville real estate agent last year is being sent to Broughton. Buncombe County Superior Court judge Alan Thornburg has ruled that 30 year-old James Michael Norton is not competent to stand trial and is involuntarily committed to Broughton state psychiatric hospital for treatment. Norton could have faced the death penalty for the murder of Tina Kessinger, who was found clinging to life in a dumpster behind her workplace in February of last year after she was attacked with a screwdriver. She died at Mission Hospital. Officials say if Norton is declared competent in the future, the case will proceed.


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