Pittsfield man accused of strangling woman found mentally unfit to stand trial at this time

By Gary Scott on June 26, 2018 at 9:55am

A mental fitness evaluation has delayed the trial of a Pittsfield man accused of strangling a woman with whom he shared a residence.

Sixty-three year old David Sampley, of Pittsfield, appeared in court yesterday morning along with Defense Attorney Walker Filbert for a mental fitness hearing. Sampley currently faces charges of aggravated domestic battery, aggravated criminal sexual assault and domestic battery for allegedly strangling and shoving a sock down the throat of Sharon Welch, who lived with Sampley, earlier this month.

Appearing in front of Circuit Judge Frank McCartney, Pike County State’s Attorney Zachary Boren presented a mental evaluation conducted by Springfield-based psychiatrist Dr. Terry Killian. After reviewing the mental fitness evaluation, Boren testified that Sampley was unfit to stand trial at this time, citing that Dr. Killian had testified that Sampley was unable to assist his attorney in developing his defense.

According to Boren, Judge McCartney agreed with Killian’s assessment and testimony, and committed Sampley to the Department of Human Service for mental health treatment.

Depending on whether or not Sampley receives the appropriate treatment and medication, he could be reinstated to stand trial according to State’s Attorney Boren. In addition to the aforementioned charges alleged against Sampley, Boren says more charges could be filed in the case.

As for when Sampley’s case could go to trial, the court has scheduled a review of the defendant’s mental condition for August 21st, when he will next appear in court.