A judge has ruled a Pennsylvania man competent to stand trial in the shooting deaths of three people during a municipal meeting.

Judge Joseph Cronin denied a defense request that he find 60-year-old Rockne Newell unfit for trial in Monroe County and send him to a mental health facility for treatment.

Defense attorneys say Newell has a long history of mental illness and refuses to discuss what happened at the August 2013 supervisors' meeting in the Pocono Mountains community of Ross Township.

But the judge ruled that Newell's refusal to cooperate with his attorneys is his choice, not an inability to do so.

Authorities allege that Newell shot three people to death at the meeting and wounded a fourth person because he was upset after losing his property.