Mental health evaluation for murder accused
An American man accused of killing his Canadian girlfriend in upstate New York will remain in jail as his lawyer arranges for a mental health evaluation.
Police have said David Schmidinger called 911 in December saying he had killed his girlfriend and was waiting for authorities.
When officers arrived, police said, 38-yearold Schmidinger directed them to a nearby Hampton Inn in Syracuse where police found the body of 44-year-old Michelle Paterson of Brampton. Police say Paterson had been visiting Schmidinger and had arrived in Syracuse a few days earlier.
Schmidinger’s lawyer has told local reporters a judge gave permission this week for a physician to meet with his client and determine whether the defence of a mental illness was a legitimate one to make in the case.
Lawyer Ralph Cognetti said the evaluation’s conclusion will be presented to the court when it is complete.
Schmidinger’s case is set to return to court Feb. 10.
Court documents in the case show investigators believe Schmidinger intentionally struck Paterson in the head with a brick “several times” before strangling her.