Murder Charges Dismissed Against Kentucky Man Who Allegedly Shot Wife, Firefighter

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- A judge dismissed murder charges Thursday against a man charged with shooting his wife and a firefighter - who he maintained were ``clones'' - to allow him to be committed to a mental hospital.

Patients at Central State Hospital may not be charged with felonies. Judge James Ishmael said that if Patrick Hutchinson, 45, becomes mentally competent, the charges will be reinstated.

The judge ruled earlier that Hutchinson was not competent to stand trial. He had faced two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of wanton endangerment.

Hutchinson engaged police in a six-hour standoff Feb. 13 during which he allegedly shot his wife and a Lexington firefighter. Another firefighter was shot but survived.

During Wednesday's hearing, parts of an interview conducted by police the night of the standoff were played.

Of his wife, Hutchinson said, ``She kept fussing at me, fussing at me. I couldn't take it any more. ... She's been nagging for years, right after they replaced her with a clone. They killed my wife - a good woman - and replaced her with a clone.''

``I didn't kill any humans today,'' he said during the interview. ``Those were only clones.''