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April 24, 2014

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Additional competency testing ordered for suspect in double-slaying at Las Vegas group home

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Leila Navidi

David Settle, right, speaks with his attorney, public defender Scott Coffee, left, in Las Vegas Justice Court for a hearing at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Thursday, January 3, 2013.

A 68-year-old Las Vegas man charged with killing two people will be transferred to a maximum-security facility in Sparks for further medical and psychological testing, a Clark County judge ordered Friday.

David Settle, accused of killing a caretaker and a resident at a group home in December, has been evaluated by three psychologists, his public defender, Scott Coffee, said.

Two psychologists deemed Settle “incompetent without foreseeable probability of becoming competent,” but one believed Settle was competent, Coffee said. All three, however, agree Settle suffers from dementia.

To gain more clarity, Settle will be relocated to Lake’s Crossing Center, a facility in Northern Nevada where alleged offenders undergo more evaluations to determine competency, Coffee said.

Settle’s length of stay at Lake’s Crossing Center is open-ended, Coffee said. Future court dates have not been scheduled.

Settle has been charged with two counts of murder with use of a deadly weapon in the deaths of Henry Namett, 82, and Elenita Ablao, 59, according to a criminal complaint. The victims were found dead Dec. 30 at a group home in the 3700 block of West Washington Avenue.

Metro Police discovered Settle, wearing only a diaper, sitting in a room with one of the victims, according to the arrest report.

Settle told officers he used a hammer to kill Namett, a group home resident, and Ablao, a caretaker at the home, then walked to nearby convenience stores to buy a bottle of wine and cigars, the report states. He tried unsuccessfully to kill himself when he returned.

Detectives said Settle offered no explanation for why he killed the pair, but he indicated he liked both people, the report states.

Settle appeared but did not speak Friday in front of Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell for the brief hearing. Settle remains in custody at the Clark County Detention Center without bail.

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