By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Murder suspect Lyndsay George now competent to stand trial
Woman charged in death of Teresa M. Dutton
fatal fire pic  Lyndsay George
Lyndsay George

Lyndsay Nichole George, charged with the first-degree murder of Central Kansas Dream Center employee Teresa M. Dutton on Oct. 8, 2021, appeared in Barton County District Court on Friday and was declared competent to stand trial.

At previous hearings, she was found to be not competent for trial. But on Friday, Barton County District Court Judge Carey Hipp ruled her competent based on the latest evaluation from Larned State Hospital. George appeared with her court-appointed attorney, Joseph R. Shepack from Ellsworth, who did not disagree with the ruling.

“The regimen of psychotropic drugs that my client is taking seems to be working,” Shepack said. “We’ll be ready to declare her competent and proceed with the case.”

Judge Hipp scheduled a status hearing with Magistrate Judge Richard E. Burgess Jr. via Zoom. That meeting will set the schedule for George’s preliminary hearing before Burgess.

Jessica Domme from the Kansas Attorney General’s Office represented the State of Kansas at Friday’s hearing, but she said Victor J. Braden, also from the Attorney General’s Office, is still handling the case and will attend the next hearing.

About the case

Teresa Dutton’s passion for helping others led to her position as assistant director of the Central Kansas Dream Center in Great Bend, where she worked for seven years. On the morning of Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, the Great Bend Police Department and local firefighters were dispatched to her home in reference to a structure fire. They located Dutton, 59, inside the residence and performed life-saving measures that were unsuccessful. 

Arson was determined to be the cause of the fire and investigators determined that Dutton’s death was the result of foul play, the GBPD reported.

Less than 20 minutes later, the GBPD responded to a residence in the 1500 block of Adams Street in reference to an aggravated burglary and battery related to the arson/homicide investigation. George reportedly left that area on foot and at approximately 8:12 a.m. was reported to be at Park Elementary School.

Officers located George in the 2000 block of 19th Street. After a physical altercation with officers, she was arrested.

Since her arrest, George has undergone competency evaluations at Larned State Hospital. She was previously found not competent to stand trial based on the reports.

The case number is 2021-CR-368 and includes five charges:

• Murder in the first degree; intentional and premeditated.

• Aggravated arson; substantial risk to great bodily harm.

• Aggravated burglary; dwelling for felony, theft or sex

• Assault of a law enforcement officer; properly identified in performance of duty

• Disorderly conduct; fighting words or noisy conduct to cause resentment