Lima man charged in mom’s death is competent to stand trial


By J Swygart - jswygart@limanews.com



Devon Ketzenberger appeared in Allen County Common Pleas Court Wednesday.

Devon Ketzenberger appeared in Allen County Common Pleas Court Wednesday.


J Swygart | The Lima News

LIMA — A Lima man charged with murder and aggravated arson in the death of his mother last fall has been found competent to stand trial.

Still to be determined is how that ruling affects pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity entered by Devon Ketzenberger last month.

Ketzenberger, 25, was indicted in November by an Allen County grand jury on charges of murder, murder, aggravated arson and felonious assault in connection with a Sept. 19 fire that killed his mother, Wendy Ketzenberger, 54, at a residence at 1113 N. Woodlawn St. He pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

When firefighters arrived shortly after 4 a.m. that day they found the structure fully engulfed in flames and were not able to enter the residence. Wendy Ketzenberger’s body was ultimately located after authorities spent much of the day sifting through the burned-out home.

Family members told police Ketzenberger had been using drugs and was making “bizarre statements” and that he smelled of a gasoline-type odor shortly after the fire. Investigators found gas cans at the scene of the fire.

Ketzenberger told police that after the fire he walked from his home to a residence in Auglaize County, a trip that took four hours. He was transported to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima for a medical evaluation, then was transported to the Lima Police Department, where he spoke to a detective about the fire.

According to court documents, Ketzenberger told investigators he had killed his mother and admitted lighting the home on fire.

His attorney, Zach Maisch, filed a motion late last month asking the court allow Ketzenberger to withdraw his previous not guilty pleas and enter pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity. That motion was granted by Judge Jeffrey Reed.

During a hearing Wednesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court, Maisch and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Tony Mill stipulated to the findings of a report from psychiatrists at the Forensic Psychiatry Center for Western Ohio in Dayton which offered the opinion that Ketzenberger is competent to assist in his own defense at trial.

Reed made that finding official and said the case can proceed to trial.

Also on Wednesday, Ketzenberger waived his constitutional right to a speedy trial.

Devon Ketzenberger appeared in Allen County Common Pleas Court Wednesday.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/01/web1_Devon-Ketzenberger-1.27.21.jpgDevon Ketzenberger appeared in Allen County Common Pleas Court Wednesday. J Swygart | The Lima News

By J Swygart

jswygart@limanews.com

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