PORTLAND (AP) – A Portland woman charged with murdering her husband with a butcher knife has been ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.

Prosecutors requested the evaluation of 49-year-old Laureen Rugen to determine if she is competent to stand trial and whether she should be held criminally responsible for her husband’s death. She is charged with killing 61-year-old Chris Rugen at their Portland home on April 8.

Laureen Rugen’s attorney objected to the evaluation. J.P. DeGrinney said the state shouldn’t be able to pry into his client’s mental state unless he raises mental health as a basis for her defense.

DeGrinney said Rugen acted in self-defense when she stabbed her husband of 22 years.

Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

AP-ES-04-29-08 0903EDT

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