Doctors agree that Senecal is competent enough to stand trial

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Paul Senecal, wearing tan boots, being taken into custody on the bridge. Copyright Mid-Hudson News 2022.
Paul Senecal. Photo via social media

POUGHKEEPSIE – Paul Senecal, 38, is facing murder charges for the death of Melanie Chianese in the town of Wappinger in May.  In October, his attorney requested a mental health evaluation of Mr. Senecal to determine if he is competent enough to stand trial.

Three psychologists, Dr. Zoe Berko, Dr. Martha Agresta, and Dr. Lawrence Siegal evaluated Senecal with Benko and Agresta testifying before Judge McLoughlin in October that they didn’t think Senecal was competent enough to stand trial.

Doctors Berko and Agresta were subsequently made aware of certain behaviors exhibited by Senecal while at the Dutchess County Jail, and the two decided to re-evaluate Senecal.

On Wednesday, Dr. Berko and Dr. Agresta were back in court, along with Senecal, to discuss their new findings.  Both psychologists have determined that the accused is competent enough to assist in his own defense and should stand trial for the charges of murder, burglary, and criminal contempt for the death of Ms. Chianese.

Dutchess County Court Judge Edward McLoughlin will issue his ruling on the matter on November 28, 2022.