Judge finds suspect in 2015 murder competent to stand trial

Judge finds suspect in 2015 murder competent to stand trial

Jun. 2—PEABODY — Six years after his arrest in his ex-wife's bludgeoning death, a Peabody man has been found competent to stand trial.

In a six-page ruling on Friday, Lawrence Superior Court Judge William Barrett concluded that Joseph Buonanduci is capable of understanding and participating in legal proceedings in the cas

Buonanduci, 52, is charged with the March 27, 2015, murder of his former wife, Donna Buonanduci, 45. She was found in the couple's former home on Putnam Street in Peabody, hours after she'd gone there to pick up some bedding for their teenage son and let Buonanduci visit with the family do

Prosecutors say Buonanduci disappeared for hours with the dog. He was discovered through cellphone signals to have gone to New Hampshire, then was found in the area of Route 495, touching off a pursuit that ended when he crashed into a guardrail, killing the dog and severely injuring himsel

Buonanduci's attorney, John Morris, declined to comment on the decision Tuesda

Morris has said he intends to mount a so-called "insanity defense," arguing that Buonanduci was not criminally responsible at the time of the crime due to the lingering effects of a 2014 stroke and his heavy drinkin

But before the case could even go to trial, a judge would have to find him able to understand and participate in his defense, something that until Friday was not certai

In his decision, Barrett pointed to a statement attributed to Buonanduci by a mental health provider at Bridgewater State Hospital, in which Buonanduci allegedly said he did not want to be competent so "I do not have to leave here

Barrett also cited the results of tests conducted by a prosecution expert, Dr. Russell Vasile, who concluded that there is evidence of Buonanduci exaggerating his memory los

The judge said he finds that the defense expert, psychologist Robert Joss, was also qualified and credible, but concluded that Buonanduci's own statements show that he is now competen

It's unclear when the case will go to trial, given a backlog of cases due to the pandemic.vt.s.."n.g.y.f.g.e.due to the pandemic.


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