- Associated Press - Saturday, April 16, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A judge has dismissed a second-degree murder charge against a 78-year-old Lincoln man with dementia who is accused of stabbing his son-in-law to death in 2014.

The Lancaster County Attorney’s Office sought the dismissal of charges on Friday, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (https://bit.ly/1Si8Hk4 ). The office asked that Bayapa Lingala be committed to the state psychiatric hospital in Lincoln. A judge ruled last month that Lingala is mentally incompetent to stand trial and is not expected to be restored to competency.

Lingala likely will remain in the Lincoln Regional Center for the rest of his life.

Police say Lingala stabbed 46-year-old Sujay Nooka on Aug. 5, 2014, at a birthday party for Nooka’s 12-year-old daughter.

Deputy Lancaster County Public Defender Webb Bancroft said a number of factors - including Lingala’s age and doctors’ prognosis of his dementia - led to the conclusion that Lingala will not get better.

“This is obviously a tragedy of immense proportion to the family,” Bancroft said. “Time spent with the number of mental health professionals obviously resulted in a finding that will get Mr. Lingala the appropriate and necessary level of care that he needs.”

State law says that once a judge determines there is not a substantial probability that a person accused of a crime will become competent in the foreseeable future, the state must either begin the process to commit the person for an indefinite period or release the person.

The judge gave prosecutors two weeks to file a civil commitment request. Lingala would be released only if prosecutors fail to meet that deadline.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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