A defense motion for trial competency was overruled Thursday after a forensic psychologist determined German Posadas-Hermanegildo’s mental illness will not prevent him from standing trial for murder.
Hermanegildo remains incarcerated in the Fayette County Jail on unclassified felonious charges of murder and aggravated murder in the death of Bloomingburg resident, Venancio Arquimides. Arquimides was found beaten to death inside his apartment July 20, 2016. Detectives with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office reportedly found evidence to attach Hermanegildo to the murder.
Defense counsel for Hermanegildo raised the issue of his competency last year. An order of examination was filed with the court Dec. 14.
A hearing Thursday in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas revealed the findings from the examination and the report was put forth on the record in the court.
Present in the courtroom for the hearing was the defendant with his defense counsel, attorneys Kathryn Hapner and Thomas Arrington, along with the state’s assistant prosecutor John Scott and Fayette County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven Beathard. A Spanish-speaking interpreter certified by the Ohio Supreme Court was present and interpreting the hearing.
The report from the forensic psychologist, dated Jan. 13, was given to the court.
“In that report she gives two forensic opinions that, to a reasonable degree of certainty, the defendant does have a mental illness and is not intellectually disabled, and the defendant is currently capable of understanding the nature and objectives of the legal proceedings against him,” said Beathard.
Beathard said the forensic psychologist’s report further states that “there is an indication of mental illness but found they are not so severe that they currently impede his ability to understand the nature and objective of his legal proceedings. He is currently capable of assisting counsel in his own defense.”
Hermanegildo, if convicted, faces life in prison for the murder charges. His trial is set for Tuesday. Scott said the state had made a plea and sentence offer to the defendant, but was unable to provide details of that offer for the press.
Hermanegildo was indicted by a Fayette County grand jury Aug. 17, 2015 on the murder charges following a preliminary hearing in the Washington Court House Municipal Court. During the municipal court’s preliminary hearing, certain evidence and witness testimony were presented to the court that allegedly linked Hermanegildo to the murder, along with his father, 49-year-old German Posados-Cruz.
Victor Pontious Jr., Washington Court House Municipal Court judge, said the evidence presented during the preliminary hearing was enough to transfer the case to the grand jury.
Hermanegildo’s father was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Nov. 7 for his role in Arquimides’ death. During sentencing, Cruz, speaking through a Spanish interpreter, told the court, “I want you to forgive me because it was not my intention to murder that person.”
Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton