Suspect in Baseball-Bat Killing of Two Boys Found Incompetent to Stand Trial; New Hearing May Take Months
The man accused of a random, fatal baseball-bat attack on two little boys playing in a park in December has been found incompetent to stand trial -- for now.
Joe Sauceda Gallegos, 39, a reported schizophrenic with a history of mental problems, became the only suspect after the mangled, bloody bodies of the boys -- aged 7 and 10 -- were found by neighbors in a southwest Phoenix park. He's been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and child abuse.
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas is seeking the death penalty, but mental-health evaluations could possibly derail that plan. It looks like this case is headed to a conclusion similar to that of lunatic Ed Liu, who was placed in a psychiatric institute earlier this year following the 2005 slaying of two Peoria Walmart workers.
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Judge Warren Granville of the Maricopa County Superior Court made the latest ruling on Gallegos last week after reviewing two mental-health reports on the murder suspect. Granville ordered the Maricopa County Correctional Health Services department to work up a "restoration regimen" for Gallegos that could last up to 15 months, reports the West Valley View.
If county shrinks can't straighten out Gallegos' head, he may be handed a get-out-of-jail-free card. Being imcarcerated in a mental institution is probably no fun at all, but it's a darned sight better than getting locked up on death row with the execution clock running.
Assuming Gallegos is certifiably, hopelessly insane, though, maybe a lifetime of state care is appropriate. That is, maybe the crime wasn't of evil intent.
Best to think of Gallegos as a tornado, flood, or some other natural event humans have no control over.
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