Judge grants competency evaluation in murder case

LISBON — A competency evaluation has been requested for Terry A. Strosnyder, 50, East Second Street, Salem, who is accused of killing his girlfriend, Athena Nicholas, in July.

Defense attorney Kelly Linger recently filed the motion for the evaluation and it was granted on Thursday by Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Washam.

Strosnyder confirmed he understood the evaluation could delay further proceedings in his case for about 60 days. He will be evaluated to see if he was sane or competent at the time of the alleged murder and suicide attempt in the yard of the home they were sharing at the time in Salem.

Strosnyder is charged with murder with a firearm specification, after his girlfriend, Nicholas was found face down, shot in the back of the head in her back yard on July 17. Strosnyder was also found lying face down beside her, shot in the head, but alive. The gun police believe responsible for the shootings, a 9 millimeter Sig Sauer P-250 pistol, was found by Strosnyder’s right foot.

Strosnyder is being represented by both Linger and Richard Hura. Additional dates scheduled in the case include a Jan. 5 status conference and a Jan. 19 motion hearing. However, a jury trial scheduled for Jan. 9 has now been canceled.