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Husband with brain tumor found incompetent to stand trial in wife’s death at Houston home

October 3, 2018

An 80-year-old man with an inoperable brain tumor has been found incompetent to stand trial nearly a month after he was arrested in the fatal bludgeoning of his wife, Alice Engelbrink, his lawyer said.

Richard Engelbrink was found incompetent Wednesday after Harris County District Clerk records show he was allowed to undergo a psychiatric evaulation nearly two weeks prior. At some point after Engelbrink’s arrest, he was transfered to a medical facility at the Harris County Jail, authorities said.

The state allowed Houston psychiatrist Dr. Mark Moeller to examine Engelbrink after the initial request on Sept. 10

“Defendant has a medical condition that requires the review and evaluation by a medical doctor,” according to a Sept. 24 filing.

Earlier this year, Engelbrink was diagnosed with a brain tumor which his family says may have played a role in the killing at their west Houston home.

“The family as you can imagine is extremely distraught over this and has asked for privacy,” said Engelbrink’s lawyer, Dorian Cotler.

Engelbrink was arrested Sept. 6 after walking to a Chase Bank and telling employees a family member tried killing him. Moments before his arrest, investigators believe he attacked his 71-year-old wife who staggered into the street and died in a neighbor’s yard on Faust Lane.

A neighbor’s doorbell camera captured the bizarre moments leading up to Alice Engelbrink’s death. Her husband, wearing a suit and clutching a briefcase, tried opening the neighbor’s door as his wife questioned his attire and behavior.

“I don’t understand what you’re doing,” Alice could be heard crying out in a video. “Why are you acting like this?”

The weapon Engelbrink allegedly used to batter his wife was never determined.

Cotler declined to comment on Engelbrink’s health. He is due back in court Oct. 16.

nicole.hensley@chron.com

@nkhensley

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