By LOU MUMFORD
South Bend Tribune
11:28 AM EST, December 27, 2012
CASSOPOLIS — A psychiatric exam has determined that the Niles man accused of the brutal slayings of John and Carolyn Tarwacki nearly three years ago is competent to stand trial.
At a hearing this morning in Cass County 4th District Court, Judge Stacey Rentfrow agreed to accept the conclusions of a recent forensic report regarding the competency of Keith Lintz, 28.
Gregory Feldman, Lintz’s attorney, offered no objections.
The result of the 10-minute hearing will allow the case against Lintz to proceed. Rentfrow scheduled his preliminary exam on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony for Jan. 22 and 23.
First-degree murder is punishable by a mandatory term of life in prison without parole. The felony firearm charge is a two-year offense.
The Tarwackis were slain in their Carberry Road residence, just east of the Niles city limits, on Feb. 5, 2010. At Lintz’s arraignment on Oct. 18, Cass Prosecutor Victor Fitz said John Tarwacki suffered 10 stab wounds and was shot twice. Carolyn Tarwacki also was shot twice, stabbed four times and beaten about the face, he said.
A motive for the crime has yet to be established.
Copyright © 2013, South Bend Tribune