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Accused murderer in Broughton

March 2, 2011

The man accused of bludgeoning someone to death was transported to a mental hospital last week after a judge ruled the man incapable of standing trial.

Dennis Edward Scherzer, 45, of Hickory, was taken to Broughton Hospital in Morganton, according to a motion filed Monday with the Catawba County Clerk of Court. Scherzer is charged with murdering Roland Simmons, 70, at Hickory's Walden House Assisted Living Center.

A representative from the Catawba County Detention Center transported Scherzer to Broughton Hospital shortly before 4 p.m. Feb. 24.

Superior Court Judge Robert C. Ervin ruled that same day that Scherzer didn't have the mental capacity to stand trial and needed treatment for mental illness.

Scherzer underwent a mental evaluation in January at Central Regional Hospital in Raleigh, where doctors determined Scherzer displayed a "grossly disorganized" thought process and paranoid delusions. He allegedly told doctors that voices in his head spurred him to kill Simmons.

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