altPOV.tv learned today that Stan Romanek has been deemed competent to stand trial following his arrest in February on charges of child pornography possession. A pretrial has been set for Jan. 21, 2015, where the judge will review the case to determine if there is sufficient evidence to move to trial.
The pretrial was delayed due to injuries Stan sustained during an attack on February 24, 2014, which included a head injury, a cut to his right arm that required 10 stitches, a fractured orbital bone, a broken tooth, internal bruising on his liver and a significant disruption in his cognitive abilities.
The defense attorney had Stan evaluated by a psychologist in July to determine if he was mentally fit to stand trial following his injuries, which, according to conversations we had with both Stan and Lisa at the time, made it difficult for Stan to process information and communicate clearly with his attorney. Based on these challenges, Lisa shared that the only desire was to get Stan to a point where he could clearly understand and process information before moving forward.
“We never wanted to avoid a trial,” Lisa said. “Our goal all along was for Stan to go through a restorative process that would allow his brain to heal and function clearly. He just wanted time to heal his brain so he would be able to defend himself from these charges.”
When the July defense psychologist report claimed Stan Romanek was not yet competent to stand trial, the DA requested a second review, hiring a psychologist to conduct an evaluation in September.
On Monday, December 1 — which happened to be Stan’s birthday — the two psychologists appeared in court to state their evaluations before the judge, and, according to Lisa, it was a grueling day of significantly opposing points of view.
My assessment of what Lisa shared about Monday’s testimony was that the DA and its psychologist attempted to discredit the prior psych evaluation, the psychologist and Stan himself. Again, this is my interpretation, based on the lengthy conversation I had with Lisa today. After nine hours of testimony on Monday, the judge recessed and said he would have his decision today, Wednesday, December 3.
And that decision was, despite recognition of some cognitive challenges, Stan was competent to stand trial and would need to work with his attorney to overcome any communication obstacles.
According to Lisa, now that a pretrial date has been set, Stan and his attorney will move into defense-planning mode despite the cognitive and communications challenges Stan faces.
“He’ll continue with his therapy so he can do the best he can when the time comes to defend himself,” said Lisa. “Despite everything going on, he’s trying to relax and allow his brain to heal.”
We will continue to share information about Stan Romanek’s case as it develops.