DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A second expert will decide whether a Butler Township quadruple murder suspect is competent to stand trial.

The judge in the Butler Township quadruple murder case has ordered a second opinion on the competency and sanity of the accused suspect, 39-year-old Stephen Marlow.

Marlow is accused of killing 4 people in their homes last August. He is facing 20 felony charges, including aggravated murder and aggravated burglary.

An initial competency report was submitted to the court Feb. 1, but the judge has ordered a second opinion. This comes after requests by the state and Marlow’s defense attorneys.

Marlow pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in Dec. 2022. Court documents state that, because of this plea, Marlow must complete a competency evaluation to see if he is capable of standing trial.

According to the document, a defendant is defined as incompetent if they are “incapable of understanding the nature and objective of the proceedings against the defendant or assisting in the defendant’s defense.”

After this evaluation is complete, the defense states that Marlow can then make a claim of Serious Mental Illness (SMI) at the time of the murders and complete another mental evaluation.

If the SMI claim is deemed to be valid, Marlow will be exempt from receiving the death penalty upon conviction, the defense said.

The doctor evaluating Marlow is required to file the second report within 30 days.