A judge ruled Thursday that a 19-year-old man accused of killing his girlfriend and dumping her body in an open grave is not competent to stand trial at this time.
Douglas County District Judge Joseph Troia ordered Mikael Loyd to be treated at the Lincoln Regional Center.
Psychiatrists hired by the state and the defense evaluated Loyd and determined that he was not mentally competent to stand trial.
After receiving treatment, Troia said, he expects Loyd will become competent.
Loyd is accused of strangling his girlfriend, Melissa Rodriguez, 19, at Hitchcock Park. He is charged with first-degree murder.
Prosecutors say Loyd choked Rodriguez until she was dead, then dumped her body into an empty grave at Graceland Park Cemetery. Loyd told investigators he argued with Rodriguez before killing her.
Robert Marcuzzo, Loyd’s attorney, said his client is mentally ill and presented the judge with Dr. Bruce Gutnik’s 13-page psychiatric evaluation.
The state then offered the judge a four-page evaluation of Loyd by Dr. Y. Scott Moore, a Lincoln Regional Center psychiatrist.
Both doctors recommended that Loyd be treated at the Lincoln Regional Center. The judge sealed both evaluation documents until trial at the request of the defense.
Loyd stared at the ground during most of the proceeding and occasionally talked quietly to his counsel.
The Rodriguez and Loyd families sat at opposite ends of the courtroom in silence. Rodriguez’s mother and sisters held hands and wept. Both families declined to comment on the competency ruling.