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Published: Wednesday, 6/15/2005

Suspect must stay in treatment

Van Zant Van Zant

A man accused of the 1999 fatal shooting of a Toledo psychiatrist but who was found not competent to stand trial will remain under treatment in a Columbus psychiatric facility, Judge Frederick McDonald ruled yesterday.

William E. Van Zant, 46, had not been restored to competency to stand trial for the shooting death of Dr. Wakil Khan, the judge said after a hearing in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Judge McDonald said Mr. Van Zant remains mentally ill and ordered that he continue to undergo treatment at the Twin Valley Behavior Healthcare-Timothy B. Moritz Forensic Unit in Columbus.

The judge cited a psychiatric evaluation that Mr. Van Zant continues to suffer from schizophrenia.

Dr. Khan, 55, was shot six times April 21, 1999, in his office in the Unison Behavioral Health Group, 525 Hamilton St. He was in a coma until he died Sept. 18, 2000, in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

Mr. Van Zant initially was charged with felonious assault and was found not competent to stand trial in July, 1999.

The charge was elevated to murder after Dr. Khan's death.

Under Ohio law, the defendant, if determined to be unfit to stand trial, could be held in a mental institution for as long as he would serve a prison sentence for murder.

In this case, that would be life.

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