Man denies killing his wife with cleaver; mom-in-law injured

BURLINGTON, VERMONT: A man accused of killing his wife with a cleaver and critically injuring his mother-in-law hours after he sought a mental health exam at a Vermont hospital has pleaded not guilty.

Aita Gurung is charged with murder and attempted murder. A judge on Friday ordered a competency and sanity evaluation for him.

Police say the attack began Thursday in the Burlington home of the refugee family from Nepal and spilled out into the street, where 32-year-old Yogeswari Khadka was killed. Her mother, 54-year-old Thulsa Rimal, has been hospitalised.

Khadka had wounds to her skull, arms and hands, Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo said. Rimal had severe head injuries, he said.

Gurung had recently asked to be released from the mental health treatment he sought and had just returned home.

Del Pozo said Gurung had called police Saturday to seek attention "for mental health issues and concerns about his deteriorating relationship with his wife," the Burlington Free Press reported.

Gurung was taken by ambulance to University of Vermont Medical Center. His father-in-law said Gurung was voluntarily admitted for a mental health evaluated and was discharged Thursday upon his request, del Pozo said.

The couple's 8-year-old child was at school during the attack, police said.