Judge to rule on suspect’s competency, again

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published June 19, 2013

More testimony has been given in the case of a man accused of shooting a 29-year-old on Recreation Street in 2011, and now a decision is back in the hands of a judge.

Viktor Shaholli was 62 years old when he was arrested on charges of homicide first-degree murder, which carries a penalty of life in prison, and a 2-year felony firearms charge for allegedly shooting 29-year-old Dashamir Matjani Nov. 20, 2011, in a home in the 23000 block of Recreation.

He was found incompetent to stand trial by 40th District Court Judge Mark Fratarcangeli in June 2012 but brought back before the court in August 2012 for the prosecution to present the results of a CT scan ordered by the judge. At that time, a report from the Center for Forensic Psychiatry was also presented, stating that Shaholli was competent to stand trial. The case was adjourned for the defense’s experts to have time to review the reports.

This month, however, Shaholli returned to court, with testimony presented from defense witness Dr. Gerald Shiener, of Birmingham, and Dr. Eric Neal, from the Center for Forensic Psychiatry, for the prosecution June 7.

Defense attorney Timothy Barkovic, of St. Clair Shores, said it has taken so long to resume proceedings because an MRI had to be conducted on Shaholli after a radiologist identified that test as being more accurate in identifying abnormalities or anomalies that could cause dementia than the previously ordered scan. Barkovic’s defense of his client centers on Shiener’s testimony that he believed Shaholli suffered from vascular dementia brought on by migraine headaches.

“The radiologist read the MRI and found, as did Dr. Shiener … that there was physical symptomology to support his conclusions that there was some type of organic problem, in terms of Mr. Shaholli,” Barkovic said June 10. “We’re confident that we prevailed.”

The 40th District Court adjourned the case until June 21 to make its determination regarding Shaholli’s competency. Judge Fratarcangeli’s ruling will be made at that time as to whether Shaholli is competent to stand trial, according to the court administrator.

Assistant Prosecutor Steven Fox, of the Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, said that Neal is now the sixth doctor to testify that Shaholli should be competent to stand trial.

“Everybody from the people’s side, every single doctor — these are not paid doctors — they’ve all 100 percent said that he is competent to proceed,” Fox said. “On the 21st, we should know one way or the other.”

If Shaholli is found competent to stand trial, then the judge will set a date for a preliminary examination, Fox said.

“Then it will be on track, like any other normal case,” he added.