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Suspect in Interstate 80 rest stop slaying ruled competent for trial

MARENGO, Iowa (AP) — A woman accused of killing a trucker at an Iowa rest stop along Interstate 80 has been ruled mentally fit for trial.

Court documents show the ruling was filed Monday following a March 19 hearing for 44-year-old Mariana Lesnic. She’s pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder. Authorities say she shot 60-year-old Ernest Kummer inside his truck cab last September at the westbound rest stop near Victor, about 40 miles west of Iowa City.

A doctor who examined Lesnic says in his report that she didn’t appear to be suffering from any mental illness when he examined her and says she’s competent to stand trial.

Authorities have not released a possible motive for the shooting.

Kummer was an employee of Fridley, Minnesota-based Copeland Trucking, where he had worked since 2010. A company official previously said it wouldn’t comment on the “horrific event” at the request of Kummer’s family.

The judge has scheduled an April 6 hearing to set a trial date.