Update: Competency Hearing Set for Accused Killer

By: 10/11 News Email
By: 10/11 News Email
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A Lancaster County judge has ordered a competency hearing for an accused killer. The hearing for Kent Burklund is set for Aug. 18.

Burklund is charged with second degree murder in his wife's death.

According to court documents, Burklund showed signs of paranoia leading up to the murder of Bettina Burklund.

Court documents, filed on April 29, show that Burklund thought Bettina was part of a gang that was poisoning him and keeping him under surveillance.

A search warrant affidavit shows police searched his home looking for illegal drugs, poisons and recording devices. The document details an interview with Burklund and an investigator where Burklund said he was the victim of his wife Bettina and other members of what he described as the "white collar" gang. Burklund told police the group, including Bettina Burklund, put date rape drugs into his drinks, gave him meth and poisoned him.

Burklund also believed he was under surveillance by the group who, he claimed, put cameras throughout his home to watch him. Burklund also told police he thought these acts had been going on for several years. The documents also show Burklund tried to get help from his family, but they didn't believe him.

Other court documents show Kent's family told police he had been showing signs of extreme paranoia and resisted all attempts by members of his family to seek treatment.

According to his mother, Bettina Burklund even kept a journal of Kent's activities relating to her concerns about his mental health.

According to earlier court documents, Kent Burklund admitted to killing his wife, leaving the murder weapon by her, then spending the night at a nearby lake.

Burklund remains behind bars facing a charge of second degree murder after his wife is found dead in their south Lincoln home.

A search warrant affidavit details the gruesome nature of the crime.

Shortly before noon April 21, officers were called to 8101 Meredeth Street on a welfare check when Bettina Burklund didn't show up at work.

When officers arrived, the home was secure and they couldn't see inside. Police decided to force open the door and enter the home after speaking with Bettina's sister.

The search warrant affidavit says officer found Bettina's body in front of the main entry door. The body had been decapitated. A serrated knife was lying nearby.

Police say her husband, Kent Burklund, became their primary suspect.

Police Chief Jim Peschong said Bettina and her husband had an argument prior to her death, but wouldn't say what the argument was about.

A truck was missing from the garage and through interviews police learned that Kent may have taken it fishing. Lancaster County deputies canvassed several lakes and found Kent's truck at Conestoga Lake.

Deputies followed Kent around the area of the lake until more officials arrived for backup. Kent was pulled over and taken into custody a short time later and transported to the Lincoln Police Department.

According to officials with the Lancaster County Corrections, Kent was booked into the Lancaster County Jail for second degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

Burklund was officially charged with second degree murder in court. It's possible he faces 20 years to life in prison. His bond was set at $1 million cash given the severity of the offense.


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