MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man accused of killing his teenage neighbor has been found competent to proceed to trial.

A mental health expert who examined John Spooner testified Monday that the 76-year-old is competent to help with his defense.

Spooner is accused of fatally shooting 13-year-old Darius Simmons last May. Spooner believed that Darius had broken into his home.

Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel says he's concerned that Spooner's health has deteriorated to the point that he may not make it to trial in May.

The victim's family pastor, Rev. Steve Jerbi, says the competency finding is what they expected. He says the Simmons family is still feeling a lot of pain and heartache over Darius' death.

Earlier on HuffPost:



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  • Darius Simmons

  • This undated photo provided by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's department via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel shows John Henry Spooner. Spooner is charged with shooting Darius Simmons, 13, who lived next door to him on Milwaukee's south side. Police said they are investigating whether there was a history of disagreements between the man and boy. (AP Photo/Milwaukee County Sheriff via Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

  • Darius Simmon

  • Darius Simmons

  • Patricia Larry holds a photograph of her son, Darius Simmons, 13, in the yard of her Milwaukee home on Saturday, June 2, 2012. Simmons was shot and killed two days earlier, allegedly by his 75-year-old neighbor whom prosecutors say was angry over a suspected robbery. (AP Photo/Dinesh Ramde)