CATLETTSBURG A Boyd County judge ruled the suspect in the 2019 slaying of 65-year-old Phil Marzetti incompetent to stand trial last month.
George M. Slone was accused of stabbing Marzetti to death in the 2500 block of Auburn Avenue last year. On Sept. 30, Judge John Vincent signed an agreed order dismissing the murder charge pending against Slone and ordering him to be committed to Eastern State Hospital in Lexington.
According to the order, Slone was taken to the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in April to be evaluated for competency.
At a July 16 hearing, a psychiatrist at the institution testified that Slone was not competent due to his long struggle with schizophrenia that “keeps him from having the capacity to appreciate the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him and from participating rationally in his own defense,” per the order.
Despite 24/7 evaluation and treatment over a six-month period, the doctor said it wasn’t likely Slone would be able to stand trial any time soon.
The doctor recommended a civil commitment under Kentucky 202A — the law in which people are involuntarily committed to psychiatric care.
Under that law, Slone could be held up to a maximum of only 360 days. Slone could be released earlier if he meets one of the following criteria: he is not a danger to himself or others; that treatment does not benefit him; and that a hospital setting is not the least restrictive form of alternative treatment available.
In the 2020 session of the Kentucky Legislature, Senators Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville), Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville) and Denise Harper Angel (D-Louisville) sponsored a bill to create a new section for involuntary commitments called 202C, in which a defendant found incompetent to stand trial for a class A or B felony — such as murder or rape — would have to be submitted to periodic checks by the court.
Under the bill, the defendant would be held indefinitely until the judge decided to let him or her out based on the reports of the attending psychiatrist.
The bill — inspired by a case in Louisville in which man who’d been found incompetent before had allegedly struck an 8-year-old girl with a shovel and raped her — was submitted to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and hasn’t seen the light of day.
In the Slone case, the charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning if he were found competent in the future, the Boyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office could take his case before a grand jury to secure a new indictment.
Boyd County Commonwealth Attorney Rhonda Copley did not offer a comment for this report.
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