Man evaluated multiple times for competency moving toward September trial

Judge to rule on man’s competency

YOUNGSTOWN — Richard J. Armstrong Jr., 46, who has been evaluated multiple times to determine whether he is competent to stand trial in a 2020 felonious assault case out of Boardman could be ruled to stand competent soon.

Armstrong was brought to the courtroom of Judge Anthony D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday for a hearing, but another one is set for June 25 to further determine what is in store for his criminal case.

Prosecutors said the most recent evaluation determined that Armstrong has been restored to competency to stand trial, but Armstrong stopped taking his medication at the Mahoning County jail.

During the hearing, D’Apolito asked Armstrong if he would resume taking his medication, and Armstrong said he would. A later hearing will allow the judge to rule on whether Armstrong is restored to competency.

Armstrong is now set for trial Sept. 23. He faces charges of aggravated robbery, abduction, felonious assault, being a felon in possession of a firearm and tampering with evidence. Armstrong is accused of abducting a man in a Boardman hotel and later waving a gun on South Avenue after allegedly firing several shots.

According to a police report, Armstrong followed a man into the Days Inn and forced him into his hotel room at gunpoint in August 2020.

The victim said Armstrong had two pistols pointed at his head. The victim offered Armstrong money, but Armstrong did not take any. Eventually, the victim was able to leave the hotel room and contacted Boardman police.

Armstrong was found not competent to stand trial in December 2021 and was sent to a state mental hospital, where he was restored to competency in December 2022.

But in January 2023, D’Apolito ordered him to be evaluated again after Armstrong pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He again was found not competent to stand trial in October of 2023 and was sent to a state mental hospital to receive treatment again with a goal of restoring him to competency.


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