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Rape, kidnapping suspect ruled competent to stand trial
Steven Areizaga
Steven Areizaga

A man facing rape and kidnapping charges has “declined to pursue any special plea of insanity” and has been ruled competent to stand trial, according to court officials.

Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin moved the case of Steven Areizaga back to the active docket after considering previous motions for mental evaluation and mental incompetency.

Oakwood Police Chief Randall Moon previously told The Times investigators believe Areizaga held a woman against her will for about 12 hours in August 2016. Officers responded after 6 p.m. Aug. 28, 2016, to the Audubon Crest Apartments on Lanier Mill Circle in Oakwood, where they said he held the woman.

Police alleged Areizaga also used a knife to menace two officers early in a two-hour chase before being detained behind First Baptist Church of Oakwood.

According to an order filed Jan. 16, Areizaga and his defense “declined to pursue any special plea of insanity” after he “received the advice of legal counsel.”

Areizaga’s attorney Dan Sammons did not return a call for comment Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Areizaga was previously ruled to be mentally incompetent to stand trial in July 2017, though the psychologist at that time thought he should be able to become competent within a reasonable period of time.

Competency to stand trial concerns a defendant’s ability to effectively assist in defending themselves at trial and understanding the court proceedings.