An attorney representing a Delaware man accused of killing his wife in an attempted murder-suicide has entered a “not guilty by reason of insanity” plea and has asked for a competency evaluation.
James S. Hayslip, 75, appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court last month after he was indicted and charged with aggravated murder and two counts of murder, all unclassified felonies, in connection with the death of his wife, Karen Trautman-Hayslip, at their home on Delaware’s west side. At his arraignment, his attorneys, public defender Carlos M. Crawford and assistant public defender Barshaunda N. Robinson entered a “not guilty” plea to the charges, and a trial was set for Oct. 24. His bond was set at $300,000.
However, on Aug. 31, Robinson filed a suggestion of incompetency with the court and said his attorneys have “reason to believe that (Hayslip) is unable to fully comprehend the proceedings in this Court… (and is) unable to assist counsel in the preparation and defense of the case.”
Robinson also filed a motion changing Hayslip’s plea to “not guilty by reason of insanity” and asked Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David M. Gormley to order a competency evaluation for Hayslip.
Gormley granted the motion later that day and ordered that a professional examiner evaluate Hayslip and his mental state at present as well as at the time of the alleged crimes.
According to the City of Delaware Police Department, on Aug. 1, bailiffs with the Delaware Municipal Court went to Hayslip’s home on Balsam Drive to enforce an eviction and entered the home after they did not receive an answer at the door. Police reported they discovered Hayslip and Trautman-Hayslip, 85, inside the bedroom, both with stab wounds. Medics and police were dispatched to the home, and Trautman-Hayslip was pronounced dead at the scene.
Hayslip was transported to Grant Medical Center in Columbus to be treated for his wounds. The criminal complaint filed in Delaware County Common Pleas Court states that while Hayslip was being transported to the hospital, he told a police detective that he stabbed his wife. Police said Hayslip turned the knife on himself after stabbing Trautman-Hayslip.
After Hayslip was released from the hospital, he was arrested and taken to the Delaware County Jail, where he has been since Aug. 2. He was in the jail Wednesday awaiting an evaluation.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.