Middletown woman charged with killing sister incompetent to stand trial; will receive treatment

Monica Pennington, charged with murder for allegedly killing her sister, was ruled incompetent to stand trial. Pennington, who will receive treatment while in the Butler County Jail, appeared at her hearing Tuesday morning in Butler County Common Pleas Court. RICK McCRABB/STAFF
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Monica Pennington, charged with murder for allegedly killing her sister, was ruled incompetent to stand trial. Pennington, who will receive treatment while in the Butler County Jail, appeared at her hearing Tuesday morning in Butler County Common Pleas Court. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

A doctor declared a Middletown woman accused of shooting and killing her sister last month incompetent to stand trial and ordered her to receive psychological counseling to see if she can return to competency.

Monica Ann Pennington, 48, of 1607 Lafayette Ave., was charged with murder and felonious assault for the death of her sister, Pamela Pennington on Oct. 20. The 52-year-old woman was found dead in the living room of the residence after Monica called 911, according to Middletown police.

ExploreMiddletown woman accused of killing sister pleads insanity

Earlier this month, defense attorney David Brewer entered a not guilty by reason of insanity plea for Pennington.

On Tuesday morning, Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth said, according to her psychological evaluation, Pennington was incompetent to stand trial. She will receive treatment at Summit Behavioral Healthcare in Hamilton County, he said.

Speath said since that facility has a backlog of cases, Pennington will receive counseling in the Butler County Jail until she can be seen by doctors at Summit, the largest freestanding psychiatric facility in Ohio that provides services to 300 patients each day.

Pennington is being held in the Butler County Jail in lieu of a $650,000 bond.

At Pennington’s arraignment, Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Dan Phillips said the sisters were involved in a physical fight, which was not uncommon in their lives, when Monica walked into her sister’s bedroom, grabbed her pistol, walked back to her sister and pointed it at her.

Phillips said it was supposed to be a murder-suicide, but Pennington did not go through with the suicide part.

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