Nevada County murder suspect hospitalized, case remains on hold | TheUnion.com

Nevada County murder suspect hospitalized, case remains on hold

Competency issues are expected to send murder suspect Robert Steuber to a state facility for treatment, though ongoing medical problems postponed the 82-year-old's transfer on Thursday.

Currently in a hospital, Steuber didn't appear Thursday in Nevada County Superior Court. His defense attorney, Deputy Public Defender Tamara Zuromskis, said she didn't want her client taken from the hospital for the court hearing.

"I also don't think it's safe for him to be at the jail," she added.

Accused in the July fatal shooting of Sandra Lebarron, Steuber remained in custody Thursday without bond.

A judge has determined Steuber is incompetent, which has stalled his case. Prosecutors said an order sending him to a state facility waits in the wings. However, Steuber must appear in court and have a judge tell him about that order before he's sent to the facility, Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said.

The facility will attempt to restore Steuber's competency, which if successful would resume his case.

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Attorneys are scheduled to return to court Dec. 14 in anticipation Steuber's medical condition will improve and he'll be able to appear before a judge.

Authorities claim Steuber shot Lebarron during an argument at their Penn Valley home. In a wheelchair, Steuber left the 67-year-old Lebarron to get a gun. He then returned and shot her.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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