A psychiatrist will be appointed to analyze a man awaiting trial in the 2009 fatal attack on his 70-year-old mother.
Marcus Wallace, 41, is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, attempted criminal homicide and aggravated assault.
Prosecutors, who are seeking the death penalty, say Wallace attacked his mother, Consuella Wallace, in her Hamilton Township, Pa., home Dec. 10, 2009. She died from her injuries in February 2010.
Wallace’s trial is scheduled for December in the Franklin County (Pa.) Court of Common Pleas.
During a pretrial hearing Thursday, Judge Richard Walsh said he will appoint a psychiatrist to work independently of efforts by the defense and prosecution.
Walsh is expected to issue an order soon on the admissibility of certain testimony during trial. On Thursday, he heard testimony from some of the Wallaces’ relatives, including Florida resident Chantal Price.
Price, who testified via videoconference, said Consuella Wallace was her aunt. She said she felt Marcus Wallace, who was adopted by his parents, was more than just a cousin.
“We were raised as brothers and sisters growing up,” Price said.
Price said she and other family members detected a shift in Marcus Wallace’s personality after the death of his father, Samuel, in the late 1980s. She said she saw Marcus Wallace push his mother against a wall.
About a year after Price moved in with her aunt in 1995, Marcus Wallace allegedly broke into their house.
Price testified she helped Consuella Wallace fill out forms for a protection from abuse order because the older woman was too shaken.
Consuella Wallace, who eliminated her son from her will, obtained a second protection from abuse order in 1997, Price testified.
Consuella Wallace told her son he could re-establish his relationship with her and come home if he went to rehab and stayed off drugs, Price said.
“She removed all of Marcus’ pictures from the walls and the tables,” she said, saying only the man’s diploma remained on a wall.