Anchorage man goes on trial for 1998 murders

Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The trial of an Anchorage man accused of murdering his ex-wife and her house mate in December 1998 is under way in state court in Anchorage.

Mark Edwards is charged with murdering Mona Edwards and Maela Crabtree in their Spenard home before turning the gun on himself on December 19th, 1998.

Edwards survived the gunshot wound to the head. Prosecutors and defense attorneys have been fighting since then over the extent of Edwards' disabilities, which include blindness.

At issue was his mental competence to stand trial. Defense experts said he was too brain damaged to follow legal proceedings. Prosecutors said he was exaggerating and malingering.

Superior Court Judge Elaine Andrews ruled last summer that Edwards was disabled by the self-inflicted gunshot but remains competent enough to be tried. Jury selection began Monday.

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