Child torture case adjourned pending competency exam

Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR —A 26-year-old man accused of torturing and abusing his six-month-old son must be deemed competent before any further court proceedings are held.

A preliminary examination of charges against Nicholas Alan Spirdione that had been scheduled for Friday in 23rd District Court was adjourned until further notice. According to Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller, last week’s hearing was cancelled pending an evaluation of Spirdione’s ability to understand the charges against him and participate in his own defense.

Spirdione remained in custody on a $1.5 million cash bond, and will undergo competency exams through the forensic evaluation center.

It was the second adjournment of the preliminary examination. Earlier this month an initial review of the evidence was postponed in deference to court-appointed defense counsel that had only that day met with Spirdione.

Miller said no further date has been set by the prosecutor.

Spirdione has been in custody since police responded on April 23 to reports of a child struggling to breathe that came from the 6600 block of Pine Street. Investigators were told that the child’s mother — Spirdione’s girlfriend, Corrie Stahl — had left the room briefly and returned to notice injuries and labored breathing.

Spirdione faces penalties of up to life in prison if convicted of three felony counts he was charged with last month — torture and two counts of first-degree child abuse. Spirdione was also charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm.

The child was treated that day at Detroit Children’s Hospital, and after surgery remained in critical condition for weeks. Reportedly the infant has responded well to treatment.

(James Mitchell can be reached at