A portion of Edward Joseph Benesch II’s statement to police following the death of his girlfriend’s 18-month-old daughter will not be allowed as evidence when he stands trial on murder and child abuse charges. Benesch also will undergo a competency evaluation after a judge granted several defense motions in Dickson County Circuit Court Friday. 26-year-old Benesch is charged with the March death of Somarah Smith, who was left in his care while both the child’s biological parents were in jail. At a hearing in Charlotte Friday, Judge George Sexton granted several pretrial motions by court-appointed defense attorney Olin Baker, including the suppression of part of the statement Benesch gave to investigators because he was denied his right to an attorney. Baker said during a five-hour interrogation by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Mike Breedlove, Benesch requested an attorney but the interview continued. Assistant District Attorney Carey Thompson said that at one point late in the interview, Breedlove left the room and Benesch told a Dickson Police Department investigator he wanted an attorney. But Breedlove was not informed of the request and the interview resumed when he returned to the room. In court Friday, Thompson did not contest the suppression of any statements Benesch made following his request for an attorney. Sexton also granted the defense’s request that Benesch undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine his mental state and capacity at the time of the child’s death. The judge granted motions to allow the defense to hire its own investigator and a pathologist to examine the medical evidence, as well as to prohibit the state from conducting any destructive tests on evidence without the defense’s expert being present. Benesch is scheduled for trial Sept. 16 on two counts of felony murder and one charge each of aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect, but Baker told the judge “we don’t expect to be ready.” Benesch remains in the Hickman County Jail on $75,000 bond. The DA’s office has filed notice that it plans to seek a sentence of life without parole if Benesch is convicted.