Competency hearing set in hatchet slaying

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By Sarah Bennett

A competency hearing has been set in the case against an Elizabethtown man accused of slaying a 20-year-old father with a hatchet last June on Magers Drive.

Jamie B. Wagers, 25, was indicted in last August on charges of murder, attempted murder, tampering with physical evidence and violation of an emergency protection order in connection with the June 16 death of Christian F. Higdon of Clarkson.

According to Kentucky State Police, Wagers was court ordered to avoid the residence at 130 Magers Drive in Elizabethtown. However, he was at that address June 16 with Higdon when he told Higdon to leave, police said.

When Higdon did not, Wagers retrieved the hatchet and struck Higdon in the head, according to KSP.

On Tuesday, Wagers appeared with his attorney in Hardin Circuit Court to review a competency evaluation completed by Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center.

Wagers’ attorney, public defender Carolyn Brown, said the defense asked its own expert to evaluate the defendant as well, and as of Tuesday, that assessment was not completed.

Hardin Circuit Judge Kelly Mark Easton ultimately set the competency hearing for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 2. A jury trial in the case is scheduled to begin 10 days later.

Brown asked the trial be continued to a later date because of a scheduling conflict.

Todd H. Livingston and Dean M. Tinsley, who are charged in an alleged child rape, also are scheduled to be tried Aug. 12. Brown is representing Livingston.

Easton denied the request and said court officials do not know which case will be tried first.

During an arraignment in October in Hardin Circuit Court, Higdon’s mother, Cindy, said Aug. 12 is the day Christian’s son, Jayden, celebrates his second birthday.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.