MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT—The mentally ill man who admitted stabbing an Upper East Side psychiatrist to death is heading toward trial again, after years of legal wrangling over his mental competency.
David Tarloff’s lawyers said Wednesday that they will not challenge the latest psychiatric evaluation from June that deems the 44-year-old fit to stand trial.
"It's a decision we're comfortable with at this time," said defense attorney Bryan Konoski after a brief hearing that set a Jan. 7 start date for the trial.
This is the third time Tarloff, a longtime psychiatric patient, has been deemed competent for trial since his arrest for viciously murdering Kathryn Faughey with a meat cleaver in 2008. He’s also subsequently had that evaluation reversed twice.
While Tarloff's lawyers, who maintain their client is mentally unstable, agreed to move towards trial, the suspect, looking dazed in court, blurted out that prosecutors didn't have all the facts about him.
"Since I'm twenty years old I want the district attorney to know that I've been hallucinating about God and the devil," said Tarloff, before being quieted by one his attorneys.
Tarloff's lawyers said their client's mental health has deteriorated since he was recently sent to Rikers Island from Bellevue Hospital Center and prosecutors agreed to try and have him placed back in the psychiatric ward in the lead up to trial.
Some members of Faughey’s family, who have attended the numerous hearings over the years, say they just hope this time he'll make it through to trial.
“We just want to make sure that he stays fit and stands trial and we can get this behind us once and for all,” said Michael Faughey.
Tarloff was arrested in 2008 after killing Faughey, who shared an office with a psychiatrist who had previously treated Tarloff.
He also attacked the other psychiatrist, Kent Shinbach, with a meat cleaver. Tarloff admitted to the crime, saying he was carrying out God's wishes.