Judge rules Kenner hammer attack suspect competent to stand trial

Judge rules suspect in Kenner hammer attack competent to stand trial
Vincenzo "Jake" Randazzo. Source: Kenner Police Department
Vincenzo "Jake" Randazzo. Source: Kenner Police Department

KENNER, LA (WVUE) - A teen accused of attacking a Kenner family with a hammer in the Woodlake subdivision back in July has been ruled competent to stand trial.

Vincenzo "Jake" Randazzo was due in court for a status hearing Wednesday, but court proceedings derailed quickly into a competency hearing.

Randazzo, 16, was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder relating to the attack that killed 89-year-old Phillip Lynch, and severely injured Phillip's wife Anita.

His attorney, David Capasso, said Randazzo was not competent to stand trial, pleading not guilty to the charges. Dr. Richard Richoux, a forensic psychiatrist, said in court that Randazzo has no active evidence of a mental disease or defect.

Judge Scott Schlegel voiced his concern with the derailment of the hearing, reminding Capasso that the hearing was meant to be a competency hearing.

The defense argued that Randazzo was the victim of abuse from his mother, something his father had reported in the past.

Richoux testified that Randazzo was competent to stand trial, and the judge agreed.

Randazzo will be tried as an adult, but will not face the death penalty due to being a minor.

He is due back in court December 4th.

Original reports: 

The attack happened July 9, 2017.

Phillip and Anita, were allegedly attacked by Randazzo in their Teton Street home in the Woodlake subdivision.  Both were taken to the hospital,

Phillip died a month later from his injuries.  His wife is continuing to recover.

Randazzo is accused of using a hammer to beat the elderly couple inside their home. Police said he then stole their car and crashed it in Baton Rouge before being arrested.

The Lynches did know Randazzo, and often let him do odd jobs for them in the past.

Police say Lynch accused Randazzo of stealing from him, which may have led to the attack.

Randazzo is being held at the Rivarde Detention Center without bond.