Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / News in Brief / Supreme Court rejects appeal of deaf, mute defendant

Supreme Court rejects appeal of deaf, mute defendant

(AP) Virginia’s top court says it doesn’t have jurisdiction in the appeal of a deaf and mute man who has been confined for 13 years despite never being tried for the 2005 slaying he is charged with.

Oswaldo Elias Martinez, 43, has been repeatedly found not competent to stand trial on charges that he raped and murdered 16-year-old Brittany Binger. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that the lack of a trial figured into the Dec. 6 published order from the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The unanimous ruling sent the case back to circuit court because there’s never been a conviction in the criminal case.

Martinez had challenged his continued confinement. Commonwealth’s Attorney Nate Green has said someone “unrestorably incompetent” who’s charged with capital murder and poses a danger must continue along the restoration process.

Martinez’s lawyer didn’t respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.