Lawyer: Head injury effects render Laurel Mountain man unfit for murder trial
The lawyer for a Laurel Mountain man jailed nearly five years on charges that he killed his live-in girlfriend wants a county judge to rule him incompetent to stand trial.
Defense attorney Brian Aston, in court documents filed this week, argued Gregory Randall, 62, suffers memory and cognitive impairments as a result of a traumatic head injury he suffered
30 years ago in a severe car crash that left him in a five-week coma.
Randall was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the May 2014 death of 52-year-old Angela Marie Cavalero. Police said Randall beat her 29 times in the head and face with a hammer and a wine bottle during a domestic dispute. Her body was found six days after the beating. Randall was arrested after he was discovered in Robinson Township in Allegheny County.
Randall has been in jail since his arrest and has undergone several competency and psychiatric evaluations as part of the defense effort claiming his mental state renders him unable to participate in his trial.
Aston argued Randall is unable to assist with his defense due to a condition he lived with prior to his arrest. Police, after his arrest, found Randall’s home littered with trash, debris and animal waste, Aston said.
“The defendant’s impairments render him capable of recalling only limited generalized information, similar to his very rudimentary ability to care for his home,” Aston wrote. “Thus, the defendant’s ability to participate in his defense is akin to his ability to care for his own home: Deplorable.”
Prosecutors have maintained Randall’s mental condition is not so severe that he can’t stand trial. During a hearing least year before Common Pleas Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio, a prosecution-hired psychiatrist testified Randall was able to communicate and participate in his defense.
The judge is expected to make a ruling later this year.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293
or [email protected]