A northwestern Indiana judge has approved a mental health assessment to determine if a man accused of stabbing his grandparents with a butcher knife in their home is competent to stand trial.
Nicholas B. Powers, 22, is charged with two counts each of attempted murder and battery, along with other charges, in the Jan. 28 attack near the Lake County town of Dyer.
He allegedly attacked his 73-year-old grandmother as she was wrapping Valentine’s Day gifts and then turned the butcher knife on his 79-year-old grandfather.
Both survived the serious wounds they suffered when Powers allegedly attacked them after his grandfather confronted him about smoking marijuana and told him he would have to move out.
Powers’ grandmother told police the attack “was something out of a horror movie,” court records state.
Defense attorney Lemuel Stigler filed a notice of his intent to raise an insanity defense on Powers’ behalf.
On Tuesday, a judge granted Stigler’s request to appoint mental health professionals to assess if Powers is competent to stand trial and whether he was insane at the time of the alleged stabbings, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.
According to court records, Powers’ father told police the 22-year-old has high-functioning autism and takes psychiatric medications.
Powers’ mother told police that he recently bought a book about serial killers, which was still on a dresser in the room where he stayed at the grandparents’ home.