DeSisti mental health evaluation continues
The mental health evaluation of a Waverly man charged in the 2006 murder of his cousin and her husband will continue at a new location.
John DeSisti, 75, will be transported from the state correctional facility in Dallas, where he is incarcerated while he awaits trial, to Torrance State Hospital once a bed is available, according to an order filed June 1 by President Judge Jeffrey Smith in Bradford County Court.
The order amends a May 8 order from Smith to transport DeSisti to Norristown State Hospital for the same evaluation, according to court information. No reason for the amendment was given in the order.
At the hospital, a forensic evaluation of DeSisti will take place to determine whether he is mentally competent to stand trial. Once the evaluation is complete, DeSisti will be returned to the Dallas facility, the order reads.
Hospital staff will evaluate DeSisti to determine whether he has a "factual and rational understanding" of the proceedings, charges and issues surrounding the case, according to the order. If he is found incompetent, staff must provide the court with a written report on whether DeSisti "can be restored to competence with treatment." The prosecution and defense will each provide a report on DeSisti's competency from their chosen experts, the order reads.
DeSisti faces two counts of murder and one count of burglary in connection with the shooting deaths of David and Carol Keeffe of Athens Township in Nov. 2006. Carol Keeffe and DeSisti were cousins.
DeSisti's trial had been scheduled to start April 23, but has been stayed pending the results of the mental health evaluation, according to court information.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.