ELK GROVE—An 85-year-old Elk Grove man will stand trial next month for the stabbing of his wife in February.
The accused, Anh Thai, who appeared frail in court on Wednesday, September 2, had been evaluated by two court-appointed doctors, who completed a series of tests on his cognitive function. They concluded that the octogenarian was mentally unsound. However, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office rejected this evaluation.
Thai was arrested on February 23 by police on suspicion of killing his 77-year-old wife Xuan Xa at their Laguna-area home.
“Both doctors indicate he is incompetent to stand trial,” Norm Dawson, Thai’s court-appointed attorney told Superior Court Judge Bummi O. Awoniyi.
Deputy District Attorney Donell Slivka argued that the reports were inconclusive. “This is something that needs to be heard before a jury,” she said.
Thai’s daughter, Tai, 51, was in court Wednesday to watch the proceedings. She says her father has dementia and described the alleged killing as an accident, and voiced concern about her father’s well-being. “I believe my father is very sick,” she said.
If prosecutors had accepted the doctors’ recommendations, Dawson said Thai would likely have been been transferred to a medical facility, such as Napa State Hospital, for treatment. If rehabilitation wasn’t a possibility, as in cases of dementia, the suspect would remain at the locked facility indefinitely.
The trial is scheduled to begin October 26. Thai remains in custody at the Sacramento County Main Jail.