The man at the center of a Weld County double homicide case will have a court-ordered mental competency evaluation before reappearing in court early next year.
Kevin Eastman, 48, was scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning on charges of first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased human body, tampering with physical evidence and possession of a weapon by a previous offender in the February deaths of his ex-girlfriend Heather Frank and her new love interest, Northern Colorado musician Scott Sessions.
Eastman’s attorneys filed a motion earlier this month, however, alleging he is too incompetent to proceed.
Weld County District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow ordered that Eastman undergo a mental competency evaluation either at the Weld County Jail, where he is in custody, or at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo.
The evaluation must be completed within 21 days of Tuesday, and Eastman’s attorneys will have an additional seven days after that to request a hearing on its findings or request a second evaluation, Kopcow said.
Eastman’s next court appearance will be 8:15 a.m. Jan. 11.
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Eastman was arrested in connection with Sessions’ death Feb. 16, less than a week after the 53-year-old musician’s body was found Feb. 10 wrapped in plastic and burned near a smoldering log along Old Flowers and Pingree Park roads about 40 miles west of Fort Collins in Larimer County.
That same day, investigators found Frank’s body wrapped in plastic and bound with baling wire on the rural Weld County property of Eastman’s former employer, Troy Bonnell. Eastman had been observed at the property by an investigator prior to his arrest.
Frank had been shot twice in the chest at close range.
Details in the deaths of Frank and Sessions — including their relationships to Eastman and each other — first publicly emerged during Eastman’s two-day preliminary hearing this past October.
Eastman faces seven charges total, including two charges each of first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased human body and tampering with physical evidence as well as one charge of possession of a weapon by a previous offender.
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All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in court. Arrests and charges are merely accusations by law enforcement until, and unless, a suspect is convicted of a crime.
Erin Udell reports on news, culture, history and more for the Coloradoan. Contact her at ErinUdell@coloradoan.com. The only way she can keep doing what she does is with your support. If you subscribe, thank you. If not, sign up for a digital subscription to the Coloradoan today.