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Teen Found Mentally Competent To Stand Trial

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(OKLAHOMA CITY) -_ A teen-ager accused of beating his mental health counselor to death with a brick and then putting her body in the trunk of her car is competent to stand trial, a jury decided.

Jack McCall Chance, 18, is scheduled to go on trial for the murder in May. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The teen confessed to beating Kristie LeGrange, 26, while she was visiting his Oklahoma City home, police said. He was found driving her car a few hours later July 17, 2000.

Her body was in the trunk.

A police officer testified Friday that Chance confessed to the murder when he was stopped.

``He said, 'I know what I did was wrong. She just made me mad,''' Sgt. Bill Essman said.

The teen also said, ``This is no way to live. It's a good thing you caught me when you did. I was fixing to burn myself and the car up,'' Essman testified.

LeGrange was a counselor with North Care.

Jurors had to decide whether Chance understood the nature of the charge against him and could assist his attorneys in his defense.

After four hours of deliberations, five jurors voted that he was competent. The sixth juror did not sign the verdict. A jury does not have to be unanimous when deciding competency.

Defense attorneys argued Chance was mentally retarded, depressed and unable to help them with the case.

Testimony showed he has scored from 49 to 84 on IQ tests administered since he was a child. He scored 59 on his latest test a week ago.

A result below 70 is considered mentally retarded.

Chance was admitted to mental care facilities for brief periods before his arrest.

Prosecutors said Chance was exaggerating his problems and making up claims of blackouts and voices to beat the murder charge.
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