Nevada County murder suspect Robert Steuber headed to state hospital for competency issues | TheUnion.com

Nevada County murder suspect Robert Steuber headed to state hospital for competency issues

Robert Steuber, an 82-year-old Penn Valley man facing a murder charge, is now free from hospitalization and can be admitted to a state facility in an attempt to restore his competency.

Steuber, accused in the July fatal shooting of Sandra Lebarron, appeared Thursday in Nevada County Superior Court for the first time since his recent hospital stay.

That hospitalization delayed an order from Judge Robert Tice-Raskin that would have sent Steuber to a state facility, which will try to restore his competency. Having returned to the Nevada County Jail, Steuber now can be moved to the state hospital.

The judge told Steuber's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Tamara Zuromskis, to explain the order that will send her client to the facility.

"I can explain it to him, but he can't hear or understand," Zuromskis said.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said Steuber would remain at the state facility until his competency is restored.

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Authorities allege that Steuber was arguing with Lebarron, 67, at their Penn Valley home moments before her death. At some point Steuber, in a wheelchair, left the room, retrieved a gun and returned to Lebarron. He then shot her.

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