CROWN POINT, Ind. — A northwestern Indiana man accused of fatally strangling an elderly Indiana woman and her daughter has been deemed competent to stand trial.

Court records state the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration notified Lake Superior court in January that 46-year-old James Lohnes of Crown Point had attained the ability to understand court proceedings at Logansport State Hospital and assist in his defense.

Lohnes faces murder charges in the January 2016 slayings of 86-year-old Velia Taneff and her 63-year-old Lana Taneff. Authorities say Lohnes had worked occasionally for the Calumet Township women as a handyman.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports defense attorneys told Judge Samuel Cappas during a hearing Tuesday they and the state were involved in discovery and not yet ready for trial. Cappas scheduled a hearing for June 12.


Information from: The Times, http://www.nwitimes.com

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.