Defendant Ruled Unfit for Trial in Meat Cleaver Slaying of Manhattan Therapist

Trial delayed over questions about schizophrenic defendant's mental fitness

By JENNIFER PELTZ
|  Tuesday, Nov 9, 2010  |  Updated 2:29 PM EDT
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Defendant Ruled Unfit for Trial in Meat Cleaver Slaying of Manhattan Therapist

ASSOCIATED PRESS

David Tarloff, 39, center, is walked out of the 19th Precinct in New York City, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008. Tarloff was arrested Saturday in the vicious slaying of Kathryn Faughey, a psychologist attacked in her office with a meat cleaver, police said.(AP Photo/Andy Kropa)

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A schizophrenic accused of murdering a New York psychotherapist with a meat cleaver has been ruled mentally unfit for a trial that had been close to starting.

Tuesday's decision means David Tarloff will be sent to a state hospital for treatment until doctors find he has improved enough to stand trial -- if they ever do.

The ruling came after two psychiatrists found him incompetent, and prosecutors said he refused to cooperate with a third exam.

Tarloff is charged with killing psychologist Kathryn Faughey in 2008 as part of a robbery plot targeting her officemate. He had planned an insanity defense.

Jury selection was under way last month until Tarloff's behavior raised questions about his mental state.

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