Toledoan, 66, declared able to stand trial in fatal stabbing


Corrected version: Changed the name of the 1974 crime victim.

A Toledo man accused in the fatal stabbing of a West Toledo woman was found competent to stand trial for her slaying Tuesday.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Bates ruled that James Millard Day, Sr., 66, of 2519 Auburn Ave., was mentally competent to stand trial. Day’s attorney, Thomas Tomczak, asked for a second evaluation to determine whether Day was legally sane at the time of the offense.

Day has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to murder in the death of Joan Watson, 49. Found Jan. 13 in her West Sylvania Avenue apartment, Ms. Watson’s body had been mutilated; an autopsy revealed she died from a stab wound to the left side of her neck.

Judge Bates ordered that Day, who could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted, undergo a second evaluation at the Court Diagnostic and Treatment Center. An April 2 trial date was scheduled.

Day pleaded guilty in 1975 to involuntary manslaughter in commission of a misdemeanor assault in the Dec. 28, 1974, death of Ethell Spence, 53, at Ms. Spence's Floyd Street apartment. She had been stabbed nearly two dozen times. Day served three years in prison. He was later imprisoned seven years on unrelated rape charges.

Also Tuesday, Ronald Martin, 61, appeared before Judge Myron Duhart for a hearing on his competency to stand trial and a possible plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, but that matter was rescheduled for Tuesday.

Martin is charged with two alternate counts of murder in the strangulation of Lynette Lenora Reid, 40. Her burned body was found in an abandoned central Toledo house in 2008.