LIMA — Psychologists at the Forensic Psychiatry Center of Western Ohio in Dayton have determined a Michigan man is competent to stand trial for a convenience store robbery in Lima earlier this year.
John Morici, 54, of Eastpoint, Michigan, was indicted by an Allen County grand jury in June on a single count of aggravated robbery, a felony of the first degree.
During a hearing Tuesday morning in Allen County Common Pleas Court, Judge Terri Kohlrieser said examiners performed two evaluations of Morici’s mental health: his competency to stand trial and his mental state at the time of the alleged incident.
The judge followed the findings contained in the report and deemed Morici competent to assist in his own defense. A jury trial was scheduled for Oct. 26.
According to court documents, Morici entered the Dairy Market convenience store at 531 W. Kibby St., Lima, on April 13 and handed the clerk a note with instructions to put tobacco products into a bag.
The clerk, who later told police Morici had caused problems at the store a few days earlier, reportedly told the man he would first have to produce money to pay for the products. The report says Morici grabbed the bag and began walking toward the exit when a second clerk intercepted him. Morici reportedly then produced a knife and told the clerk to get out of the way “or he would gut him like a fish.”
A customer watched Morici walk to a vacant house at 620 S. Metcalf St., and police responded to that location. Knowing Morici had a propensity to start fires, officers pushed open an unsecured door and entered the structure, where they found a fire had been started.
Morici was found hiding inside the building. He told investigators he would not have hesitated to kill the clerk at Dairy Market with the knife.
On July 28 Morici’s attorney filed a written plea of not guilty by reason of insanity that contained a request for a mental evaluation for his client.