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

Trial delayed over questions about schizophrenic defendant's mental fitness

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    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)

    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.