Attempted murder suspect to undergo further psychiatric evaluations


WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — A Washington C.H. man charged with attempted murder will undergo further psychiatric evaluations for up to a year to determine his competency to stand trial.

On Nov. 21 in Fayette County Common Pleas Court, the defendant, 28-year-old Derek J. Honacher, appeared for a competency hearing with his attorney, Thomas Arrington, along with Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade.

Based upon a competency report from the Forensic Psychiatry Center for Western Ohio, Judge David Bender found it appropriate to have Honacher transported to Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare to be housed in the Kosar civil unit for further evaluations. Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare has been ordered to notify the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office once Honacher’s treatment is completed.

His jury trial has been vacated until the evaluations are made.

This case stems back from an incident that reportedly occurred on June 16. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office received an emergency 911 call from the resident at 3891 North St. SE, according to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. The caller reported that a family member — later identified by deputies as Honacher — assaulted him with an axe.

Once deputies arrived and spoke with the victim, the investigation found that Honacher had allegedly entered the victim’s bedroom and struck him several times with the axe. According to Stanforth, a struggle ensued between the two, and the victim’s dog got involved and bit Honacher multiple times.

The dog’s actions reportedly caused Honacher’s attack on the victim to stop.

The victim was treated for his injuries. Honacher was arrested on an attempted murder charge, and was later transported to a Columbus-area hospital for treatment.

Honacher was indicted by a Fayette County grand jury on two counts of first-degree felony attempted murder, a second-degree felony felonious assault charge, and a fourth-degree felony domestic violence charge.

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