Troy man again ruled sane, competent for murder trial in roommate’s death

Sean Higgins’ trial is Nov. 15; he is accused of killing Easton Ho and cutting off his thumb to keep using Ho’s cellphone.

TROY — A Miami County judge Thursday said second evaluations again found a Troy man competent to stand trial and sane at the time of the murder of his roommate in April.

Sean Higgins, 25, earlier pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of Easton Ho, 25.

Credit: Miami County Jail

Credit: Miami County Jail

A jury trial for Higgins was scheduled Thursday for Nov. 15 and 16 in county Common Pleas Court.

Ho was reported missing April 14 by his roommates, including Higgins. His body was found the following day in Indiana after Troy police said Higgins told them where the body had been left after the killing.

Higgins is accused of the murder and of cutting off Ho’s thumb so he could continue to access Ho’s cellphone. Higgins also faces charges of abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, theft and receiving stolen property.

Judge Stacy Wall said in July that the first evaluations performed at the Forensic Psychiatry Center for Western Ohio in Dayton found that Higgins was competent to stand trial and was not mentally ill at the time of the offense.

She then approved a request filed by defense lawyer Jose Lopez of Troy seeking a second mental evaluation. State law allows for a second evaluation.

County Prosecutor Tony Kendell said at the time that he accepted the report from the Forensic Psychiatry Center but would not object to the request for a second evaluation. Lopez asked for an evaluation by the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Lima, saying that the hospital has “some familiarity” with Higgins because he was treated there following his arrest.

The second evaluations were conducted in August at the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital.

At the end of Thursday’s hearing, Wall asked Higgins if he had any questions about the case and proceedings. He said he did not.

Higgins remains in the Miami County jail.

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