Competency is being evaluated for man accused of killing wife

Staff report


The next time Royce Honaker, 60, of Southington appears in court, officials may have results of an evaluation being conducted to determine whether he is competent to stand trial — and whether he was sane July 31 when he is accused of killing his wife.

On Tuesday, Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court set Honaker’s next pretrial hearing for Nov. 6.

On Sept. 7, Judge Logan ordered that Honaker be evaluated by the Forensic Psychiatric Center of Northeast Ohio in Austintown.

The person who conducts the evaluation will serve as the expert witness for Judge Logan, according to a judgment entry filed with the court.

The prosecution and defense also can employ one expert each to determine competency and sanity, the judge said. However, court officials say neither the prosecution nor defense expert will be employed until after the court’s expert has submitted his or her report.

Police say Honaker called 911 on July 31 to say that he had just killed his wife at their home on Countyline Turnpike Road. He was standing near the garage when police arrived and repeated the statement, police said.

Inside the Honakers’ 3,000-square-foot home, they found Donna Honaker, 58, dead of a gunshot wound.

Family members have said Royce Honaker was having mental health issues in the months leading up to the killing.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.