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W.Va. man accused in Va. slaying 'incompetent'

WARRENTON, Va. (AP) - A West Virginia prisoner has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial in a decades-old slaying in Virginia's horse country.

A Fauquier County Circuit Court judge has ordered Ronald R. Cloud, 65, to undergo treatment at Central State Hospital in Petersburg until a court hearing on April 24, 2014, FauquierNow ( reported.

"It's one of those necessary legal steps that we have to take to make sure the result in the case is final," Commonwealth's Attorney James P. Fisher said. "I'm hopeful and confident Central State will restore him to competency so we can return to court."

Cloud was to stand trial in Fauquier County on charges related to the 1980 New Year's Eve killing of Brad Baker. He was the manager of an estate owned by relatives of Stephen Currier of the famed Currier and Ives prints and banker and philanthropist Andrew Mellon.

Cloud's stepfather had been fired by Baker on the day of the shooting, which meant that Cloud's stepfather and mother would be evicted from their home.

At a hearing in April, Cloud's brother, Ernest C. Cloud, said he was with his brother when he shot Baker in his house during a confrontation.

Baker was found with shots to his head and groin. The front door window panes were smashed out of the two-story farmhouse where he lived.

Ernest Cloud testified that he didn't know his brother planned to kill Baker. He has not been charged.

West Virginia records show Cloud had been a prisoner in the Mount Olive Correctional Facility in West Virginia. He was sentenced in Hampshire County, W.Va., in 1988 on kidnapping, conspiracy and sexual assault charges, according to the records. The newspaper has reported that Cloud was serving a life sentence in West Virginia for beating and chaining the woman, who worked with him at a manufacturing plant in Winchester.


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