CANTON — Jacob Stockdale's double murder trial has been delayed so he can receive mental health treatment.
At a hearing Monday, Stark County Common Pleas Judge Frank Forchione declared Stockdale, 26, incompetent to stand trial based on a second mental health evaluation.
The first evaluation concluded Stockdale was competent, but the defense requested another opinion. Stockdale will be placed at Heartland Behavioral Healthcare Hospital in Massillon, a secure state psychiatric facility.
Stockdale is charged with two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of his mother, Kathryn Stockale, 54, and his brother, James Stockdale, 21, at the family home on Dolphin Street Southwest in Bethlehem Township on June 15, 2017.
A conviction would carry 15 years to life in prison for each murder charge.
Stockdale and his family were known throughout the region for their popular bluegrass band, performing at fairs and other events and venues in Stark, Wayne and Holmes counties.
County prosecutors have not commented on the evidence in the case or a motive.
A .20-gauge shotgun was used in both deaths, according to the prosecutor's office. When Stark County sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 hang-up at the Stockdale home, they heard a gunshot and found Jacob Stockdale on the floor in the doorway of the home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
A status hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Oct. 7.
The first competency evaluation was conducted by Dr. Lynn Luna Jones, of the Psycho-Diagnostic Clinic in Akron. Jones found that Stockdale does not have a mental illness that prevents him from understanding the legal proceedings and assisting in his defense, Forchione said at Monday's hearing.
The subsequent competency evaluation was conducted by Dr. James Karpawich. The prosecutor's office and defense had agreed on Karpawich conducting the second evaluation.
Karpawich gave an opposite opinion, finding that mental illness would prevent Stockdale from understanding the charges and assisting in his defense, the judge said.
Karpawich, however, said that competency could be restored for the defendant within a year with intensive mental health treatment and while addressing his depression, Forchione said during the hearing.
Heartland Behavioral, part of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, provides inpatient care for acutely mentally ill adults from Northeast Ohio.
"This is a very serious case," Forchione said. "This has been tragic in a number of different ways."
"I don't think it ever hurts to err on the side of just being fair [to the defendant]," the judge added.
When Forchione asked Stockdale if he had questions, he paused for several seconds before consulting with attorney Wayne Graham and telling the judge he didn't have any. Attending the hearing was Stockdale's father, as he has done throughout the case.
Also at Monday's hearing, Forchione appointed attorney Eugene Cazantzes co-counsel at Graham's request.