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UMC stabbing suspect to get mental health evaluation

A man accused of stabbing two people at University Medical Center in June, killing one, is scheduled to undergo a mental health evaluation.

Michael Earl, 48, of Las Vegas, made a brief court appearance Wednesday morning in the courtroom of Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum where Baucum ordered Earl to undergo the evaluation.

“Looking into the competency issues is the first thing we have to do to make sure he understands everything that is going on,” said Earl’s attorney, James Ruggeroli, adding “He will be evaluated by a couple of psychiatrists or psychologists to determine if he can understand the proceedings.”

Earl is charged with murder, attempted murder, burglary, battery and assault in the June 23 stabbings that unfolded in an area of the Las Vegas hospital where psychiatric patients are treated. A physician wrote in hospital paperwork that Earl was suicidal and hearing voices shortly before police said he used a knife to fatally stab patient Porfirio Alejandro Rea, 29, as Rea was restrained on a bed. Earl, police, said, also stabbed another male patient in the leg but this man survived.

Earl’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 5.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, provides access to trained telephone counselors, 24/7. The Crisis Text Line is a free, national service available 24/7. Text HOME to 741741.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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