Man accused of stabbing Sinton priest set for competency hearing

| December 14, 2009

SINTON — A jury will hear testimony Jan. 25 to determine whether a man accused of stabbing a Sinton priest is competent to stand trial.

David Rodriguez, 36, was indicted by a San Patricio grand jury in July on an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge related to an attack on the Rev. Shaji Varghese.

Varghese, who is recovering from his injuries, was stabbed repeatedly in May while standing in the side doorway of the sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church after Mass.

Rodriguez’s competency to stand trial would depend on whether he understands the judicial process.

Rodriguez was evaluated by a psychologist, who in a preliminary report found him incompetent because he would not cooperate. The same psychologist then issued a more extensive evaluation finding Rodriguez competent.

In October both the prosecution and defense asked for further evaluation. Rodriguez has since been evaluated for the prosecution by Dr. Raul Capitaine, a Corpus Christi psychiatrist. Rodriguez is scheduled to be evaluated by psychologist Troy Martinez later this week for the defense, his attorney David Stith said.

Rodriguez, who appeared in court Monday before District Judge Michael Welborn remains in the San Patricio County Jail because he can’t afford the $350,000 bond, Stith said.

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Category: Church Security

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