St. Clair ShoresJune 20, 2012
Shaholli not competent to stand trial
By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer
The man accused of shooting a 29-year-old man on Recreation Street will not stand trial for the crime at this time.
Judge Mark Fratarcangeli of the 40th District Court found 62-year-old Viktor Shaholli not competent to stand trial June 19 and sent him back to the Center for Forensic Psychiatry, which will recommend a facility where he will be treated.
The judge ordered that “there is substantial probability that the defendant, if provided a course of treatment, will attain competency to stand trial within the time limit established.”
Testifying during the competency hearing that day was Dr. Donna Rinnas, who has worked at the center for 16 years. She said that, “it was my opinion that he is competent to stand trial,” stating that she believed he showed the capacity to reason and work with information presented to him, and that he demonstrated an ability to understand his attorney and the charges against him connected to the death of Dashamir Matjani Nov. 20, 2011.
But Dr. Gerald Shiener of Birmingham, hired by defense attorney Timothy Barkovic to evaluate Shaholli and review the findings of Rinnas, said May 31 that he believed Shaholli was not competent to stand trial because of “severe depression, migraine headaches and the presence of some damage caused by long-term migraine headaches and their treatment.”
He said the major depressive disorder seemed to develop after the death Shaholli’s wife two years ago and the migraine headaches may have caused vascular dementia, although he said that no imaging tests had been done to assess whether Shaholli has damage to his brain.
Rinnas admitted that “our technique differed.”
“I seemed to have placed more reliance on statistical improbability of certain responses,” she testified. “In every forensic investigation, one has to rule out malingering by the nature of the context. A person can malinger by faking symptoms altogether or by exaggerating symptoms.
“For sure, he was exaggerating the extent of his memory impairment.”
Fratarcangeli ordered Shaholli to “undergo treatment to render the defendant competent to stand trial,” and also said he must submit to a CT scan. The case will be reviewed again in 180 days.
If Shaholli is found competent to stand trial at a later time, he will still face the charges of homicide first-degree murder, which carries a penalty of life in prison, and a two-year felony firearms charge.
Shaholli is an Albanian citizen in the U.S. on a green card and required an interpreter during the proceedings.
Both Shaholli and Matjani were helping rehabilitate a home in the 23000 block of Recreation for relatives at the time of the shooting.
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