A Dane County judge said Wednesday that a man charged in the stabbing death of another man in his Downtown apartment in March is competent to stand trial, which was rescheduled to take place in October.

Darrick E. Anderson, 24, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the March 27 death of Andrew Nesbitt, 46, at Nesbitt’s North Butler Street apartment. Anderson’s lawyer, Tim Kiefer, had asked that Anderson be evaluated to determine whether he is able to assist in his defense and understands the court proceedings.

Listening in a restraint chair used to bring him to court, Anderson heard Dr. Elliot Lee testify by phone that he determined Anderson to be competent after a week-long evaluation at Mendota Mental Health Institute.

Anderson has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to the charges against him. His two-week trial, now scheduled to start Oct. 2, will take place in two parts, the first to determine whether Anderson killed Nesbitt and the second to determine whether he suffered from a mental disease at the time.

Dane County Circuit Judge John Hyland said he agreed with Lee’s findings after listening to testimony, which included testimony from Anderson’s mother and sister about their observations of Anderson’s mental health throughout the years. They said he was often paranoid and argumentative, and that he had conversations with himself and once said he heard voices.

But Hyland said whether or not Anderson has a mental illness was not the issue in determining competency to assist in his defense, but that mental illness will play a role in Anderson’s trial.


Ed Treleven is the courts reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.