The man accused of murder in the Thanksgiving week hatchet killing at 15th and Union and suspected in a second street murder will be evaluated for his mental fitness for trial before the legal process continues, a King County judge decided Tuesday morning:
The arraignment for a mentally ill man charged with killing a stranger with a hatchet on Nov. 22 was postponed Tuesday morning so he can undergo a psychological examination at Western State Hospital.
Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson agreed with the defense and ordered the evaluation for Michael LaRosa before he enters a plea to a charge of first-degree murder. LaRosa’s arraignment was rescheduled for Dec. 28.
James Williams, the man who eventually pleaded guilty to the 2007 Capitol Hill murder of Shannon Harps, was found unfit for trial after his psychological evaluation. But after having his competency for trial “restored” with treatment at Western State Hospital, he pleaded guilty and is currently serving a 35-year sentence for the crime.