Wash. man allegedly found in truck with dead woman faces murder charge, mental evaluation

Prosecutors have filed a first-degree murder charge against a Washington man who authorities say was found driving a pickup truck with a dead woman in the passenger seat.

A judge on Thursday ordered 26-year-old Bernard Howell of Tenino to undergo a mental health evaluation to determine if he's competent to stand trial.

Howell is charged in the death of 60-year-old Vanda Boone, who recently moved to the Olympia, Wash., area from Long Island City, N.Y. It wasn't immediately known if Howell had an attorney.

Court records say Howell told police when his truck was pulled over Sunday night that he just wanted to save the dead woman's family "the $5,000 it would cost to bury her."

Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock says Boone died after her throat was slashed. Detectives think Boone was walking or biking on a trail when she was attacked Sunday.

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Information from: The Olympian, http://www.theolympian.com