Mur­der sus­pect brought back af­ter 13 years

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - DAR­RYL WELCH dwelch@cov­news.com

Vasile Chisinau Ciorba first ap­peared in New­ton County court­room nearly 13 years ago charged with the blud­geon­ing death of his wife. He was back in court Thurs­day for a com­pe­tency hear­ing.

Ciorba, 63, is cur­rently hos­pi­tal­ized in the foren­sic unit at Ge­or­gia Re­gional Hospital in De­catur. In 2005, he was ruled men­tally in­com­pe­tent to stand trial for the killing and was civilly com­mit­ted to a Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Hu­man Re­sources hospital. He comes back to court in New­ton County once a year for a hear­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to The Cov­ing­ton News in 2004, Ciorba had come to the United States seek­ing med­i­cal treat­ment for a stroke. He had re­port­edly been in the coun­try six to eight weeks be­fore he al­legedly struck his wife, Emilya, multiple times in the head with a small, yel­low sledge ham­mer, killing her. In­ves­ti­ga­tors with the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice (NCSO) thought, at the time, the slay­ing might have been the re­sult of an ar­gu­ment be­tween the two. He re­port­edly wanted to re­turn to Mal­dova, a coun­try of the for­mer Soviet Union, and she wanted to re­main in the U.S.

News re­ports from 2005 say men­tal health ex­perts who ex­am­ined Ciorba tes- ti­fied that his men­tal dis­abil­ity more than likely arose from the stroke and im­paired his abil­ity to com­pre­hend in­for­ma­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to tes­ti­mony April 20 from a psy­chol­o­gist with Ge­or­gia Re­gional, Ciorba’s di­ag­no­sis and med­i­ca­tions are un­changed from last year. In the last year, he has been al­lowed to leave the hospital for su­per­vised out­ings to the World of Coke, a bowl­ing al­ley and the At­lanta Botan­i­cal Gar­dens. He is also a mem­ber of a gar­den group per­mit­ted to make su­per­vised trips to Wal­mart to pur­chase plants and soil, etc.

New­ton County As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Am­ber Bennett ar­gued for Ciorba’s con­tin­ued hospi­tal­iza­tion say­ing that should he be re­leased and re­lapse, he would pose a dan­ger to so­ci­ety. She also ar­gued that due to the na­ture of his al- leged crime, Ciorba should not have any ac­cess to tools or gar­den­ing im­ple­ments.

Af­ter hear­ing tes­ti­mony and ar­gu­ments, Judge Sa­muel Ozburn ruled that Ciorba con­tin­ues to meet the cri­te­ria for civil com­mit­ment and will re­main in the cus­tody of Ge­or­gia Re­gional Hospital. He also agreed with Bennett’s re­quest to not al­low Ciorba to have ac­cess to tools of any kind.

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