Ricciardi competent to be tried

Published 5:58 pm Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Allegedly murdered neighbor with a baseball bat

By Elizabeth Pattman

Staff writer

A judge ruled Thursday that David Ricciardi is now competent to stand trial for the February 2014 murder of Naira Davis of Smithfield.

In 2015, two psychologists testified that Ricciardi, 53, would likely remain incompetent for the foreseeable future, so Judge Jesse Demps ordered that he remain committed to Central State Hospital. His case has come up for review each year since and up until now, he has been found incompetent to stand trial.

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Ricciardi suffers from schizophrenia and delusions and has problems with rational understanding, which has previously made him unfit for trial, according to the psychologists who evaluated him. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

He was charged with first degree murder after allegedly beating Davis to death in his mother’s Smithfield Forest home on Feb. 20, 2014. At the time of the murder, Ricciardi believed Davis was part of a racial conspiracy and spy network, according to psychological evaluation reports.

Davis, who was 73 at the time of her murder, was a friend of Ricciardi’s mother, Mary McPartlan, and often visited the home. According to the arrest warrant, Ricciardi opened the front door of his mother’s home, allowed Davis to enter and then allegedly began to strike her several times on the head with a wooden baseball bat while she lay on the floor.

Ricciardi was deemed incompetent to stand trial in April of 2014 and he remained hospitalized at Central State. On Thursday, Isle of Wight County Commonwealth’s Attorney Georgette Phillips told Judge W. Parker Councill that Ricciardi was now competent to stand trial after four years of treatment.

Ricciardi was present for the hearing, which was held in Isle of Wight General District Court. He remained quiet through the proceedings.

Had Ricciardi’s treatments not been successful within five years, his charges would have been dropped and he would have remained hospitalized indefinitely. 

Ricciardi will now face a preliminary hearing on May 17.  {/mprestriction}