The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a terse order Friday declaring an appeal in the case of Raphael Musto premature.
Musto’s Attorneys had asked the higher court to overturn a ruling by a U.S. Middle District Judge A. Richard Caputo ordering the former state senator into custody of the Attorney General, who would then admit him to a federal medical facility.
The order issued Friday notes that the lower court’s order “is not final and is not otherwise appealable at this time.” It also notes attorneys from both sides “must file written responses addressing this issue … within 14 days.”
Musto was charged Nov. 23, 2010, with receiving kickbacks for help in obtaining state grants. He pleaded not guilty on Dec. 15, 2010. Two superseding indictments have been issued since.
Defense attorney’s argued Musto is not fit for trial and asked for an indefinite continuance. On Jan. 7, Caputo ruled Musto mentally incompetent, but ordered him to report to a federal medical center for a period of no more than four months. Musto is to be re-evaluated to see if he improves enough to stand trial.
Musto’s attorneys filed an appeal, resulting in Friday’s order.