CANTON — A second competency exam as well as a potential insanity plea are being sought in Jacob T. Stockdale’s murder case.
Stockdale, 26, of Bethlehem Township, appeared Monday in Stark County Common Pleas Court.
At a brief hearing, defense attorney Wayne Graham requested a second psychological evaluation to determine if Stockdale is competent to stand trial in the shooting deaths of his mother, Kathryn Stockdale, 54, and his brother James Stockdale, 21, at their family home in the Beach City area on June 15, 2017.
Graham also told Judge Frank Forchione he plans to file a motion seeking a plea for his client of not guilty by reason of insanity.
A separate psychological exam will be done on Stockdale to determine if he was legally insane at the time of the fatal shootings.
The Stark County Prosecutor’s Office says in court records Stockdale purposefully killed his mother by shooting her in the back of the head and face and purposefully killed his brother by shooting him in the face.
A .20-gauge, single-shot shotgun was used in both killings, according to prosecutors.
Stockdale is charged with two counts of murder.
A psychological evaluation at the request of the prosecutor’s office previously found the defendant capable of understanding the nature of the legal proceedings against him and capable of assisting in his defense.
Following completion of a second competency evaluation, Forchione would rule on the issue.
Also at Monday’s hearing, Stockdale’s trial was scheduled for April 9.
An indictment in the case had been slowed because Stockdale turned a gun on himself following the shooting deaths, according to investigators. Stockdale suffered self-inflicted head and brain injuries requiring extensive medical treatment, the prosecutor’s office said.
Stockdale and other family members were known throughout the region for their popular bluegrass band, performing at fairs and other venues in Stark, Wayne and Holmes counties.
James and Jacob Stockdale were members of the family band that included their father, Timothy, and throughout the years their older brothers.
Jacob Stockdale started fiddling at a young age and won many accolades, including Ohio Grand Fiddle Champion in 2012.
At the time of the shooting, James Stockdale was enrolled in business management classes at the Kent State University Stark and Tuscarawas campuses, hoping to pursue the business side of the entertainment world.
Kathryn Stockdale managed the family band and was featured on the ABC reality TV show “Wife Swap” in 2008.
Days after the shooting, the Stockdales’ eldest son, Calvin, said he did not know why Jacob took the lives of his mother and youngest brother. He said the family loved him and forgave him, asking for prayers for his brother’s healing.
Prosecutors have not commented on a motive in the shootings.
Jacob Stockdale had been hospitalized following the 2017 shootings and then spent time in a medical rehabilitation facility. After his release, Stockdale received outpatient medical treatment at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Graham has said.
Stockdale is currently being held at the Stark County Jail.
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