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Homeless Man Mentally Unfit to Be Tried in Stab Death of Former Rockette

December 23, 1992

NEW YORK (AP) _ A homeless man accused of stabbing to death a former Rockette was found mentally unfit to stand trial.

Kevin McKiever was remanded to the state Mental Hygiene Department by State Supreme Court Justice Franklin Weissberg.

″It is likely that Kevin McKiever will spend much of the rest of his life in an institution for the criminally insane,″ said his attorney, Ronald Kuby.

The judge acted Tuesday on recommendations of two Bellevue Hospital psychiatrists.

Alexis Welsh, 29, an advertising agency employee who had formerly danced with the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, was stabbed to death June 8, 1991, as she walked her two cocker spaniels near Central Park.

McKiever, 36, was arrested about 10 minutes later in the park. His clothes were bloody, and five people identified him as the killer.

The blood was later found to be McKiever’s. None of the victim’s blood was on his clothing. A fingerprint on the knife retrieved from Welsh’s back belonged to a detective.

Kuby, McKiever’s lawyer, said the doctors reported that the defendant ″suffers from schizophrenia which now is in an acute active psychotic phase.″ McKiever has accused the judge and the prosecutor of conspiring to kill Welsh and frame him for it.

If hospital officials find McKiever fit to stand trial within five years, Kuby said, he will be tried. If he is not found competent within five years, the charges will be dropped and he will be civilly committed.