Criminal Call is scheduled for about three dozen defendants today in Indiana County Court, and the case list includes a pretrial conference for 40-year-old Todd Walters, the Indiana man charged with killing his mother in February of 2015.
Judge William Martin will convene a meeting of the attorneys for both the defense and prosecution. Walters is accused of beating to death his mother, Ruth Shirey, at her home on Diamond Avenue in Indiana. She died hours after the early-morning beating, and he was found driving her car in Altoona later that day. Since his arrest, Walters has undergone a series of mental health evaluations and been involuntarily committed to Torrance State Hospital. He was on medication for his mental health issues before his mother’s death, but his father testified that he had stopped taking them at the time of the beating.
In September, Walters’ attorney filed a notice that he will pursue an insanity defense. District Attorney Pat Dougherty will ask for a verdict of guilty, or guilty but mentally ill.
The Criminal Call list also includes Charles Cook, the drifter accused of killing 76-year-old Myrtle McGill at her home along South 6th Street in Indiana in 1991. Cook is seeking to have his case dismissed based on the failure to provide him with a speedy trial, and he is also seeking to have evidence suppressed, including his own statements after his arrest. He’s scheduled for a motions hearing on November 19th.
There is also a pretrial motions hearing this afternoon for 23-year-old Justin Michael Cahill of Black Lick, who is charged with two counts each of aggravated indecent assault and statutory sexual assault. Cahill is scheduled for a jury trial on November 13th and Judge Martin has set a deadline of November 6th for him to enter a negotiated plea and avoid a trial.