2021 | Courts

Man accused of killing his mother will move from psychiatric hospital to jail

Defendant charged with murder, previously found competent to stand trial

File photo

A judge ordered a Rockville man charged with killing his mother more than two years ago to be transferred from a psychiatric hospital to jail, since he was found competent to stand trial.

Kevin McGuigan, 23, will be transferred to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility from the state’s psychiatric hospital, Circuit Court Judge Robert Greenberg ruled Friday.

McGuigan was charged with stabbing his mother, 49-year-old Jaclyn McGuigan, to death outside St. Raphael Catholic Church in December 2018, police said. He was charged with first-degree murder.

Following McGuigan’s arrest, he was found incompetent to stand trial by doctors at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup, a maximum-security state psychiatric hospital. McGuigan has been held at the hospital since then.

But Greenberg on Sept. 15 found McGuigan competent to stand trial. Still, McGuigan was ordered to remain held without bond at Perkins, according to state court records.

On Tuesday, according to court records, a new doctor’s report was filed concerning McGuigan’s criminal responsibility.

Prosecutors for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office said during a hearing Friday afternoon that the report found McGuigan to be criminally responsible, and that his doctors no longer feel he needs medication.

Prosecutors also said Howard County authorities charged McGuigan with attacking another patient at Perkins from behind and trying to slit their throat with a razor blade. He faces attempted murder, first-degree assault and weapons charges there, prosecutors said.

“We think, clearly, that [attack] is showing that Perkins obviously lacks the necessary security and supervision and specifically attention to this defendant to prevent him from being a danger to the individuals there,” one prosecutor said on Friday.

McGuigan’s attorney, David Martella, said the latest doctor’s report is a “somewhat qualified report” and states that McGuigan has had a history of psychosis that required two involuntary commitments.

“I’m surprised to hear that he’s not taking any medication, because the report I have, at least the one submitted by the doctor, indicates that he was taking a psychotropic medication,” Martella said.

He added that previous competency reports stated that McGuigan suffered from “bouts of psychosis” when he wasn’t taking medication.

“I think moving him and putting him in a different atmosphere greatly increases the risk that he will decompensate, and that will work against his interests and everyone else’s interest in this case,” he said.

Martella asked Greenberg to defer transferring McGuigan until a pretrial hearing scheduled for Feb. 4.

Greenberg ordered that McGuigan be held at the county correctional facility, noting that the “competency issue has been settled” and his understanding is that McGuigan no longer needs medication.

Martella could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

“Absent any other medical evidence, I’m led to the conclusion, as I already stated back in September and October, that he is competent,” Greenberg said.

McGuigan will be held without bond in the jail, pending further court proceedings with Circuit Court Judge Jeannie Eun Kyung Cho.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com