A judge on Saturday ruled Bryan Stanley, charged with murder in the
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) _ A judge on Saturday ruled Bryan Stanley, charged with murder in the shooting deaths of a priest and two others in a Roman Catholic church, incompetent to stand trial.
The ruling halts for at least 18 months criminal proceedings against Stanley, 29, who faces three counts of first-degree murder in the Feb. 7 slayings. He is to be re-evaluated after treatment in a mental hospital.
Stanley, who reportedly objected to schoolgirls reading Scripture during Mass at St. Patrick’s church in Onalaska, told La Crosse Circuit Judge Peter Pappas at Saturday’s hearing that he was was ordered by the Lord to ″assassinate the three devil-worshippers.″
The Rev. John Rossiter, 64, the pastor of St. Patrick’s, was shot dead as he kneeled to pray before an altar. Lay minister Ferdinand Roth, 55, was shot dead nearby, and custodian William Hammes, 66, was shot to death in a church basement.
Stanley spoke in court Saturday for about 15 minutes, his speech laced with obscenities and Biblical references.
A psychiatrist testified Saturday that Stanley appeared to be a paranoid schizophrenic, and La Crosse County Public Defender Michael Rosborough said Stanley had not cooperated at all with his own defense, and had refused to enter an insanity plea.
Stanley was to be taken to the Mendota Mental Health Center for up to 18 months and then reevaluated.
He can be forced to take anti-psychotic medicine now that he has had a competency hearing, La Crosse District Attorney Scott Horne said. Stanley has refused to take the medicine.
Horne said he hopes to bring Stanley to trial after the stay in the mental hospital.
After the hearing, Stanley was led out of the courtroom by two guards as he shouted, ″I curse all of you (expletive deleted) in the name of the Lord.″