Defense attorney for William Nobles requests neuro exam, enters not guilty plea

A defense lawyer called for a neurological exam Monday for the suspected killer of Celeste Pernell, who was stabbed to death with scissors that were left in her neck.

Assistant Mercer County Public Defender Jenna Casper asked for the medical tests and entered a not guilty plea for 40-year-old William Nobles, who lived with Pernell, 54, and her mother.

Assistant Mercer Prosecutor Michelle Gasparian raised no objection to the neuro exam, but said another doctor already has issued a report saying Nobles is competent to stand trial.

Pernell was found dead in the doorway of her home on Southard Street in Trenton on June 1, 2013. Authorities said she had been dead for maybe a day and had been stabbed more than a dozen times with the scissors found protruding from her neck.

Nobles appeared in shackles and a jail jumpsuit for the hearing before Mercer Judge Robert Billmeier, who sent the suspect back to the lockup after the hearing.

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