Portage man incompetent for trial in murder of father

Kalamazoo County

PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — A man accused of killing his 82-year-old father in Portage earlier this year has been found incompetent to stand trial.

A judge issued the competency ruling on Sept. 24 for Scott Sterffy, 56, who is charged with murder and mutilation of a body in the death of his father Dr. Thomas Aye.

Authorities say Sterffy killed Aye in the Portage home they shared on July 24 and then mutilated the body. Aye’s daughter discovered his body the next day when she went to the house to check on him.

By that time, Sterffy was gone. Authorities say he flew to Seattle, then got on a bus bound for Chicago, then flew back to Seattle. He was arrested when a sheriff’s deputy spotted him getting off a bus in Kalamazoo on July 31.

At arraignment, he denied ever killing anyone.

Defendants are ruled incompetent after review by mental health experts, who work to determine not whether they were sane at the time of the crime but rather they are capable of understanding the criminal case against them and assisting in their own defense, which they have a right to do.

The process now is to provide treatment for Sterffy with the goal that he will eventually be ruled competent. His next review is scheduled for Nov. 18.

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