Judge Cites 'hYper-Religious' Belief In Ruling Man Incompetent For Trial In Minnesota Killings

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge has ruled that a man accused in the deaths of three relatives is incompetent to stand trial, citing the man's “hyper-religious” belief that God is telling him to plead guilty.

David Ekers, 38, was charged with three counts of second-degree intentional murder for pipe wrench attacks in July 2020 in suburban Minneapolis that killed his sister, mother and grandmother.

But last week, Hennepin County Judge Julia Dayton Klein ordered Ekers to remain in a state security hospital indefinitely, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Wednesday. The commitment order said Ekers told a doctor he planned to plead guilty "because I think Matthew 5 says, ‘you should settle with your accuser quickly.’ … It’s not that I want to go to prison or anything. It’s that I’m trying to follow what God says.”

The doctor determined that Ekers “was unable to consider what is in his best interest in light of his hyper-religious delusional rigidity, illogical and disorganized thought process and confusion, all of which are reflective of psychotic symptoms,” the order read.

Ekers was previously committed to the state institution on a court order that said he was schizophrenic in part because of years of consuming high-caffeine energy drinks.