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Court Officials: Murder Suspect 'Not Competent to Stand Trial'

James D'Aquila remains unable to assist in his own defense as he faces charges in the February murder of his mother at her Jensen's Trailer Park Home.

It will be at least 90 additional days, if not longer, before the state is able to proceed in the murder trial of James D'Aquila after a doctor told officials at New Britain Superior Court Tuesday that he is not competent to stand trial.

D'Aquila, 34, appeared before a judge but said little as attorneys interviewed Dr. Mark Cotterell of the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown. Cotterrel testified that D'Aquila is making progress, but is not ready to assist in his own defense, court officials said Tuesday.

The Record-Journal reported that Cotterell told attorneys and Judge Hilary Strackbein that with three months, they could see considerable progress.

According to the Record-Journal, Cotterrel said medication now appears to be helping some:

"He is doing better than he was due to," using medication that is approaching the optimal dose, Cotterell said when questioned by defense attorney Christopher Eddy.

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Strackbein ultimately decided to re-commit D'Aquila to Whiting for 90 days following the testimony Tuesday, court officials confirmed.

It will be D'Aquila's second stint at the hospital after he was ordered to go their to receive treatment in May when a social worker told the courts that after evaluating the former New Britain resident, he simply was not in the right state of mind to assist in his own defense.

D'Aquila is facing charges charges including murder, felony murder, first-degree robbery and third-degree larceny in the case.

Southington police arrested D'Aquila in February after his mother, 64-year-old Donna D'Aquila, was found dead inside her trailer park home. Police said she had been beaten to death after she was kicked repeatedly in the head. The blows caused her to die almost instantly, the state's medical examiner said.

Police said in the warrant, released in February, that she was found under her table after officers went to the home to do a welfare check. Her body had been lying there for nearly a week, police said.

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