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Monroe Legacy

Monroe trucker's alleged killer to undergo competency evaluation

An Iowa County District Court judge has ordered a competency evaluation for 43-year-old defendant Mariana Lesnic before proceedings continue in her first-degree murder trial.

Lesnic is accused in the Sept. 6 shooting death of Monroe truck driver Earnest Kummer at an Interstate 80 rest area near Victor.

The order was issued Monday by Sixth District Court Judge Andrew B. Chapell after Lesnic’s court-appointed lawyer Eric Tindal recommended the evaluation. He was assigned to Lesnic’s case to counsel the defendant on representing herself after she filed letter in court requesting her court-appointed attorneys be removed from her case. Lesnic told the judge she was “unhappy” with her representation.

Lesnic entered the written plea during an arraignment Oct. 2. and is still being held at the Iowa County Jail on a $1 million cash-only bond.

The 60-year-old Kummer was found dead in his semi-truck sleeper after Iowa County Sheriff officials received a report at 2:37 a.m. Sept. 6 of a shooting at the westbound rest stop. Court records state when authorities arrived at the scene officers found Kummer dead with a gunshot wound to the head.

Authorities have yet to release a possible motive to the killing.

A pretrial conference was scheduled in the case for Jan. 8 with a Jan. 23 jury trial to follow, but those dates are subject to changed based on the results of the examination. Court records state proceedings are suspended in the case until further judge order.

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