Man accused of killing ex-wife found competent for trial

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PEABODY, Mass. (AP) — A judge ruled that a man accused of beating his ex-wife to death in 2015 is competent to stand trial.

Lawrence Superior Court Judge William Barrett decided on Friday that Joseph Buonanduci, 52, is able to participate in a trial, the Salem News reported.

Buonanduci is accused of murdering his ex-wife Donna Buonanduci when she came to his home to pick up some items and let him visit with the family dog. She was found dead in the home in Peabody hours after visiting, the newspaper reported.

Joseph Buonanduci also disappeared and police tracked him using his cellphone signal to New Hampshire. He led police in a vehicle chase, eventually crashing the car, killing the dog and injuring himself, the newspaper reported.

An attorney for Buonanduci, John Morris, declined a request for comment from the newspaper on Tuesday. He has previously said he planned to defend his client by arguing Buonanduci was not responsible for his actions due to mental impairment from a stroke and alcohol use, the newspaper reported.

In his decision, the judge referenced a statement from a medical provider at Bridgewater State Hospital, a mental health facility run by the Department of Corrections. That provider said Buonanduci had said he did not want to be found competent so “I do not have to leave here.”

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