Man accused of Pittsylvania County triple murder ruled incompetent to stand trial

Matthew Bernard’s family member told 10 News he was “seeing demons around his bed”

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – The man accused of killing his mother, sister and her child in Pittsylvania County in August has been ruled incompetent to stand trial, according to an order filed in Pittsylvania County Juvenile and Domestic Relations court.

The order says Matthew Bernard was ruled incompetent to stand trial on Nov. 6.

His lawyer asked for a psych evaluation in September.

Bernard has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

He was to be transferred to a hospital designated by the commissioner of behavioral health and developmental services no later than 10 days after the court filing.

The filing does not say which hospital Bernard was transferred to but states Bernard’s competency can only be restored on an inpatient basis in a hospital. If that doesn’t happen in six months from the end date of his treatment, a report will be sent to the court indicating whether he should be released from state custody, admitted to a center for those with an intellectual disability or involuntarily admitted to inpatient treatment.

Bernard led police on a wild chase through rural Pittsylvania County in August, during which ran from police while naked and attacked a bystander.

One of Bernard’s family members told 10 News he was hearing voices and seeing “demons around his bed in the days leading up the killings.” Police have remained tight-lipped on that subject.

About the Authors:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a content producer in July 2018.