Hibbard murder suspect incompetent to stand trial

Jessica Conser

REXBURG — Pre-sentencing officials recently declared a woman who allegedly killed her father in June as incompetent to stand trial.

On Monday, Madison County defense attorney Jim Archibald reported that his client, Jessica Conser, will be taken to a mental health facility for further evaluation. Conser was scheduled to meet with Judge Mark Rammell on Monday but, in lieu of the pre-sentencing recommendations, that has now been delayed.

“She has been evaluated by a psychologist. She's not mentally stable to proceed,” Archibald said. “She can't plead while she's mentally incompetent.”

The state accuses Conser of gunning down her father, Matthew Travao at his Hibbard home last month. She allegedly drove from Montana to Hibbard where she entered Travao's home and shot him while he slept. At the time of the shooting, Conser's two young children and her step-mother were also in the house but were not injured. Following her arrest, Conser confessed to killing Travao.

Archibald says the hope is that, while Conser is treated at a mental health facility, that she will develop competency to possibly stand trial.

“We've had some clients stay there a week, some a month, some a couple of years. It's up to the doctors. They'll do a series of tests,” he said. “Some clients never get out. Some get stabilized with the right meds. She's had a mental breakdown.”

Conser will be placed in a secure mental health facility, Archibald said.

“It's not something that she can walk out of,” he said.

Should doctors find Conser mentally fit to stand trial, she will be returned to the Madison County Jail.

In the meantime, California family members are taking care of Conser's two young children.

The state charges Conser with murder one and a weapons enhancement charge. The murder charge brings with it life in prison or the death penalty. Conser also faces 15 years for the weapons enhancement charge. She could also be fined up to $55,000 for both charges as well as additional restitution to be determined should she plead or is found guilty.

As more information is made available, the Standard Journal will update this story.