DA: Return Pa. triple-murder suspect to jail cell

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - December 26, 2011

Twenty-four-year-old Joseph McAndrew Jr. is charged with first- and third-degree murder and related offenses in the March 5 slayings of 70-year-old Joseph McAndrew, 64-year-old Susan McAndrew, and 23-year-old James McAndrew in Montgomery County's Upper Merion Township.

District Attorney Tracey Potere filed a petition Friday seeking to have McAndrew transferred from Norristown State Hospital to the county prison.

He told The (Doylestown) Intelligencer that McAndrew has been found competent to stand trial and no longer needs "intensive psychiatric treatment."

"He can go back to the prison where officials have assured me he will receive any treatment that he needs," Potere said.

Investigators say McAndrew, essentially, butchered his family using an 18-inch long dagger-like sword.

Officers who responded to the scene found the defendant in the driveway with his shoes and pants "covered in blood," authorities said.

Talking to detectives later, McAndrew described what happened as an "extermination," police said in the affidavit.

McAndrew was held at the county prison without bail following his arrest, but defense attorneys said he was uncommunicative and unable to help in preparation of his defense.

He was transferred to the forensics unit of the state hospital April 20. But hospital officials said in August that he had become competent to stand trial, and they repeated that assessment in a report issued earlier this month.

McAndrew's formal arraignment on the charges is scheduled Jan. 20.

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