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Donald Lazar found competent to stand trial for wife's murder

LADYSMITH, WI (WTAQ) - A northwest Wisconsin man is due back in court August 12th, after a judge found him competent to stand trial for the murder of his wife.

67-year-old Donald Lazar of rural Hawkins is charged in Rusk County in the shooting death of his 65-year-old wife Darlene last December 30th at their home.

Prosecutors said the two were arguing about property taxes and her bathroom usage for washing her hands.

Lazar originally pleaded not guilty, but online court records show that the defense is considering a plea change.

In March, a psychologist ruled that Lazar was not competent to stand trial, and he was taken to the state’s Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison for treatment.

Authorities said Lazar shot his wife while she was on the phone with law enforcement. He apparently did not realize his gun was loaded. After realizing that it was, he allegedly reloaded the rifle and fired it a second time.