Roy ruled competent to stand trial

James Neiss/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERThis file photo from June 23, 2018 shows Niagara County Sheriff's deputies escorting Gregory Roy to the Niagara County Courthouse. The Porter man, who was charged with murdering his stepfather April 29, 2018, was once again ruled competent to stand trial for second-degree murder during a court hearing on Friday.

Gregory A. Roy, the Porter man charged with murdering his step-father April 29, 2018, has again been ruled competent to stand trial for second-degree murder.

Defense attorney Joseph Catalano requested a second competency evaluation Feb. 1, saying a psychologist determined Roy was off his medications and may have been experiencing a schizophrenic episode when he allegedly shot Rudy Ray Rockett Sr.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon agreed to order a second mental health evaluation.

Two psychologists, Dr. Melissa Heffler and Dr. Brian Joseph, found Roy was competent to stand trial for murder.

Roy will return before Sheldon April 8, the day his murder trial was scheduled to begin, for a competency hearing. If Sheldon rules Roy is incompetent for trial, she could order Roy to civil commitment at a mental health treatment facility until he is found competent.

If Roy is found competent, his murder trial could proceed.

Roy, 29, of Lake Road, is accused of shooting Rockett, 64, while driving him to Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, where Rockett was scheduled to board a flight home to Los Angeles. Roy was taken into custody April 30 for criminal possession of a weapon after deputies found an unregistered 9mm handgun in the glove compartment of his mother's car, where investigators say he killed Rockett.

Rockett's body was found May 19 in a heavily forested area of East Otto.

This past June, a panel of three psychologists found Roy competent to stand trial. Shortly after, Roy was charged with murder.

But Catalano said last month that Dr. Evelyn Coggins, a psychiatrist with Erie County Medical Center, had determined that Roy was off his anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medications for about three months before he allegedly killed Rockett.

Roy's refusal to take his medications apparently worried his parents in the months before Rockett's death.

In January, Roy's biological father filed a complaint against his son, resulting in New York State Supreme Court Justice Paula Feroleto ordering Roy to be committed to Erie County Medical Center. Roy remained at ECMC for three weeks, took his medication and showed improvement, according to Catalano.

"(His behavior) leveled off with his meds," Catalano said previously.

But Roy stopped taking his medications shortly after his release from ECMC, Catalano added.

Catalano said Roy has refused to take his medications since his arrest, causing his mental state to deteriorate so severely his defense attorneys can no longer work with him.

"He's not able to aid us in the defense," Catalano said.