Accused Killer Disputes Finding of Mental Incompetence, Requests Trial

Accused Killer Disputes Finding of Mental Incompetence, Requests Trial

More psychiatric tests ordered for 21-year-old charged with fatally stabbing his mother

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Kevin McGuigan hearing set for June.


The Rockville man accused of murdering his mother outside a church days after Christmas asked a judge to find him competent to stand trial at a hearing on Friday, despite a state psychiatric report that said he was incompetent.

Kevin Justin McGuigan, 21, was charged with first-degree murder for stabbing his mother Dec. 28 at St. Raphael Catholic Church. Prosecutors were granted additional time to evaluate McGuigan after a hearing in January.

McGuigan appeared in handcuffs in Rockville District Court, wearing a white T-shirt and brown pants. He opposed a prosecutor’s request for a 60-day continuance in the case.

McGuigan answered a series of questions from his attorney, Barry Helfand, confirming he knew what was happening at the hearing, the charges against him, and the role of the judge and prosecution in the case.

A psychiatric evaluation from the state’s Perkins Hospital Center, where McGuigan has been held without bond since his arrest Dec. 29, found him incompetent to stand trial. Helfand was not opposed to the finding, but his client disagreed.

“Ultimately, it’s his life and his case,” Helfand said.

Judge Sherri Koch said while it appears McGuigan has an understanding of the situation, competency is a two-pronged issue and he lacks the ability to assist in his own defense.

Koch said the report cites symptoms of mental disorder impeding McGuigan’s competency, despite his surface-level knowledge of the court system and its proceedings.

“I cannot find beyond a reasonable doubt that he is competent to stand trial,” Koch said.

Perkins will develop another psychiatric report of McGuigan and the case will be revisited June 7.

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