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Tarloff deemed fit to stand trial after taking his meds: Lawyer

David Tarloff, the Corona man accused of murdering a Manhattan psychotherapist in her office in February, has been found fit to stand trial after being ordered by a civil court to take his medications while in custody, his attorney said.

Tarloff, 40, appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court Tuesday a week after the court order so that Judge Charles Solomon could determine his state of mind, attorney Bryan Konoski said. The defendant remained silent during the hearing, unlike his June 3 court date, when Solomon said Tarloff had to be escorted back to a holding cell after an outburst.

"If he's able to assist you in his defense, then the case will move forward," Solomon said. Konoski and prosecutor Evan Krutoy are set to meet June 24 to schedule the pretrial hearing for July.

By all accounts, Tarloff had not been stable. He was recently put in seclusion at Bellevue Hospital after he stripped naked and threatened his roommate, Konoski said. Bellevue hosted the June 10 civil court hearing after hospital officials requested the court order to forcibly medicate Tarloff. Konoski said he did not contest the hospital's request.

Prior to that, Tarloff refused to communicate verbally because he was convinced that detectives were listening in, Konski said, choosing instead to send his attorney a series of notes.

"It appears he's feeling better," Konoski told Solomon. "His speech is slower. It's more thoughtful."

Doctors have diagnosed Tarloff as paranoid schizophrenic, Konoski said.

Tarloff, who pleaded not guilty to the charges and will pursue an insanity defense, told police he had been institutionalized approximately 21 times in the past when he was arrested Feb. 16, court papers show.

Tarloff told detectives he had gone to the Manhattan office to rob psychotherapist Kathryn Faughey's business partner, Dr. Ken Shinbach, who had been involved in institutionalizing Tarloff in 1991, court papers show.

Instead, he slashed Faughey to death with a meat cleaver and seriously wounded Shinbach, police said.

Tarloff had hoped to use the money to take his invalid mother to Hawaii, according to court papers. He had two suitcases full of adult diapers, women's clothing and knives with him during the attack, police said.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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