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Forum staff reports, Published July 05 2012

Deniger attorneys to use mental health issue as defense

FARGO – Attorneys for the man accused of stabbing his wife to death here plan to argue that he lacked criminal responsibility at the time of the crime.

Earlier this week, attorneys for 50-year-old Henry Leo Deniger filed notice in Cass County District Court stating they would use a defense of mental disease or defect at trial. In April, Judge Steven McCullough committed Deniger to a mental health evaluation.

The notice filed Tuesday stated Deniger’s attorneys will introduce evidence obtained from a North Dakota State Hospital psychologist. Deniger is accused of stabbing his wife, Kathye Deniger, who was found dead in the couple’s south Fargo apartment March 6.

Deniger appeared in court on Thursday with public defenders Gordon Dexheimer and Nicholas Thornton.

Deniger asked the court in April to change attorneys due to a conflict of interest with witnesses the prosecution may call at trial.

Thursday’s hearing was continued to Aug. 29.