Not guilty plea for Washington mental patient

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- A mental evaluation has been ordered for the Western State Hospital patient charged with murder in the death of another patient who was stabbed in the ear with a ballpoint pen.

The evaluation will determine whether 40-year-old Elliott Goodin is competent to stand trial.

A not guilty plea was entered for him Wednesday at his arraignment in Pierce County Superior Court and he's held without bail.

The News Tribune reports (http://is.gd/7d3ipC ) that although 28-year-old Paul Montefusco had been stabbed in the ear his death Friday at the Lakewood hospital was caused by strangling.

Goodin told authorities they fought after Montefusco entered his room and tried to choke him.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com