Daniel Bellard will not stand trial in Christine Gestrich shooting death

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Nico Savidge
Thursday, October 10, 2013

JANESVILLE—A town of Plymouth man charged with shooting his neighbor to death in February will not be prosecuted for her murder after two doctors' reports found he is not competent to stand trial.

Daniel Bellard, 75, will be taken to Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison after authorities filed for an emergency detention at a hearing Thursday morning in Rock County Court.

Bellard shot his neighbor, 59-year-old Christine Gestrich, inside his barn on Feb. 6 before wounding himself with two self-inflicted gunshot wounds, authorities said.

In two separate, court-ordered competency evaluations, doctors concluded Bellard is not competent to proceed with the criminal case and is not likely to regain his competency.

Prosecutors will dismiss the criminal charges against Bellard, though they have the option of reopening the case if he regains competency, District Attorney David O'Leary said.

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