WILKES-BARRE – Harun Ngolo will likely never stand trial on charges he killed his wife and injured his son with a spear three years ago, just before Father’s Day, a county judge said Friday.
Ngolo, 69, was ruled incompetent to stand trial in 2011 due to mental health issues and had been making some progress with treatment – until recently.
A significant decrease in cognitive ability likely means Ngolo will never face a jury of his peers on homicide and aggravated assault charges. Judge William Amesbury said at a hearing Friday that it is possible Ngolo will stay in a secure state hospital for the rest of his life, where he will receive treatment, also ensuring the safety of the community.
“But, we need to move this case to some kind of finality,” Amesbury told Assistant District Attorney William Finnegan and Ngolo’s attorney John Donovan.
However, Amesbury said, he doesn’t know what the answer is.
Ngolo, of Simpson Street, Wilkes-Barre, was charged in June 2010 for allegedly fatally stabbing his wife, Maria Ngolo, and injuring his son, Moses Ngolo, now 34, and then-3-year-old grandson.
Ngolo, a political refugee from Zaire, Africa, used a homemade spear to attack his family during an argument over Father’s Day plans, police said.
Ngolo had been receiving treatment at the Norristown State Hospital and appeared at Friday’s hearing via video, sitting in a wheelchair at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility. Ngolo has previously attended hearings before Amesbury in person and was able to stand.
A registered nurse at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, where Ngolo is staying in the infirmary, said Ngolo has had a significant decline in mental and physical abilities and is unable to put words together.
“It’s mostly rambling … a word salad,” Sue Ziller said. “He’s unable to walk at times…his (condition) fluctuates.”
Ziller also noted other medical issues Ngolo faces, and said that he is staying in the prison’s infirmary because of those issues.
Amesbury urged attorneys to speak with Ngolo’s doctors, and attorneys said they’ll likely seek recommendations on how to end Ngolo’s case since a trial is currently not an option.
Amesbury asked for an update on Ngolo’s status in 60 days, as well as a decision attorneys have come to by then.
Psychiatrists have previously said Ngolo still believes his wife is alive, and that he believes she had a baby with another man. Ngolo also has told doctors he believes people at the county prison have killed him.