SANDUSKY — Five months after a former University of Toledo student allegedly stabbed his infant cousin to death, an Erie County judge Thursday found that the Sandusky man remains incompetent to stand trial.
Denzel Castile, 19, has been a patient at the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo since May 22.
Described by his doctor as “profoundly mentally ill,” Mr. Castile has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, through his attorneys, to a charge of aggravated murder for the May 16 stabbing of 11-week-old Athena Castile. The indictment includes a death penalty specification because the victim was under 3 years old.
According to Sandusky police, an altercation occurred at a Dewey Street home that ended with Mr. Castile allegedly getting the baby, running down a hallway, and stabbing her.
At the time, police could not explain the erratic behavior of Mr. Castile, who had been a good student in high school and was in his first year at UT.
His attorney, Pete Rost, said he waived Mr. Castile’s appearance at the brief competency hearing before Erie County Common Pleas Judge Tygh Tone.
“According to the doctors who are treating him, he is unable to understand the legal proceedings and unable to assist his attorneys in preparing a defense,” Mr. Rost said. “Therefore, under the statute, he is not competent to stand trial at this time. Under the statute, the state has a one-year period to restore his competency so that the case can proceed.”
A psychiatric report admitted in the case Thursday described Mr. Castile as “profoundly mentally ill,” although his doctors believe it’s possible he can be restored to competency.
Judge Tone scheduled a further competency hearing for April 16.