WAUSAU (WAOW) - A judge Tuesday ordered that a 27-year-old man accused of killing and beheading a St. Paul, Minn., man undergo more psychological tests to determine whether he was competent to understand the court proceedings.
Kou Thao was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the killing of 58-year-old Tong Hang at a Wausau home last April. Hang was visiting family in Wausau, police said.
Hang's head was found in the trunk of a car that was reported stolen in Wausau and recovered in Milwaukee, where Thao was arrested, the criminal complaint said.
Marathon County Assistant District Attorney Theresa Wetzsteon said Tuesday that a psychologist who evaluated Thao was unable to determine whether he was competent to assist in his own defense.
Circuit Judge Michael Moran ordered that another evaluation be done, the prosecutor said.
As issue is whether Thao has cognitive limitations or suffers from a mental illness, Wetzsteon said.
“It is not a language barrier,” she said.
Until a ruling is made on Thao's competency, the next step in his prosecution, a preliminary hearing, is indefinitely postponed, she said.
Wausau police said Thao shot Hang in the head in a Wausau basement and dismembered him, eventually hiding body parts under cushions in a Milwaukee house. A possible motive for the killing has not been made public.