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Man accused of killing girlfriend competent to stand trial

COVINGTON - The man accused of killing his girlfriend and turning the gun on himself in a failed suicide attempt in November of 2007 has been deemed competent to stand trial, according to the Newton County District Attorney's Office.

Rick Breedlove, 55, underwent a psychiatric evaluation at Georgia Regional Hospital in Decatur where he was transferred from the Newton County Detention Center, according to Assistant District Attorney Melanie McCrorey Bell, who handles crimes against women and children.

Breedlove is accused of shooting 49-year-old Pam Spencer, his girlfriend of nearly two years, in the head with a .357 Magnum handgun prior to turning the gun on himself at a home the couple shared at 25 Hickory Hill Drive on the evening of Nov. 6.

Bell said Breedlove's attorney has announced on his behalf that he is ready to stand trial and he will appear before Superior Court Judge John Ott within the next few months. He is charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the

commission of a crime.

Breedlove spent several weeks in intensive care at an Atlanta hospital following the incident.

Investigators believe Breedlove and Spencer were involved in an argument that began inside their home and then spilled outside on the deck. A 911 call was made from the home and the line left open.

"There was no voice contact from the 911 call, but we knew it had risen to the level of gunshots," Newton County Sheriff's Office Lt. Bill Watterson told the Citizen at the time of the shooting.

Upon arrival at the scene, sheriff's deputies found Spencer face down and Breedlove on his left side, lying on the back deck, according to a Newton County Sheriff's Office incident report. A silver revolver was on the floor "in the immediate area of the male," the incident report stated.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com