BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Defense attorneys are asking a federal judge to postpone the September trial of a man accused of killing his grandmother, cousin and cousin's boyfriend on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation. The request was filed Tuesday. It comes after a court order this month for a psychiatric examination of 23-year-old defendant Sheldon Bernard Chase. Prosecutors want to gauge whether Chase is competent to stand trial.
Public defender R. Henry Branom, Jr. says it would be impossible to complete that exam in time for a Sept. 10 trial. Chase has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder. Authorities have said he suffers from an unspecified mental illness and stopped taking his medications before the October shootings in a rural area of the Crow reservation near the Wyoming border.