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Man serving time for attempted murder seeks mental exam

August 24, 2019

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A man sentenced last year to 25 years for attempting to kill his wife in Dubuque now is seeking a competency evaluation, saying he should not have been allowed to enter a plea in the case.

The Telegraph Herald reports that 52-year-old Clifford Smiley has filed a petition seeking the exam, saying he was bipolar, off his medication and addicted to heroin when he entered an Alford plea to attempted murder last August. In an Alford plea, a person doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict.

A judge recently granted Smiley’s request, but prosecutors are objecting, saying state rules don’t allow mental evaluations after a case has been adjudicated.

Prosecutors say Smiley stabbed his estranged wife in a Dubuque parking lot on April 1, 2018.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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