Suspect in Yale doctor’s death competent for trial
New Haven, Conn. — A judge ruled Monday that a doctor being forcibly medicated to treat his mental illness is now competent to stand trial for the killing of a Yale University physician.
Judge Thomas O’Keefe Jr. also was expected to decide whether Lishan Wang can act as his own attorney.
The Chinese citizen from Beijing is charged with murder in the 2010 killing of Dr. Vajinder Toor and with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at Toor’s pregnant wife outside the couple’s Branford home. Toor’s wife wasn’t injured.
Authorities said the shooting appeared to stem from a 2008 workplace dispute Wang had with Toor and other doctors when they worked together at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in New York City. Wang was fired from the medical center that year after a series of confrontations with Toor and other colleagues.
Toor was a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Medicine who was working with the infectious disease section of Yale-New Haven Hospital.
O’Keefe had earlier ruled Wang incompetent and ordered him to be medicated against his will. Wang, whose lawyers have said he has delusional disorder and paranoia, insisted he was competent and didn’t need medication.
Wang’s public defenders appealed that medication order, saying it would violate his constitutional rights to a fair trial and mental and physical bodily integrity. But the state Supreme Court upheld the ruling, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
O’Keefe on Monday also continued the forced medication order and ordered Wang to continue to be confined and treated at Whiting Forensic Division, the state’s only maximum-security psychiatric hospital in Middletown.
A 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling said the government can force medication on mentally ill criminal defendants only in the rarest of circumstances and only if certain conditions are met.
The Connecticut Supreme Court said state prosecutors met those conditions and concluded it was substantially likely Wang would be restored to competency with medication.