Alfred Infosino, an 82 year old retiree, is accused of beating is girlfriend to death at their home in Delray Beach, Florida. Infosino is supposedly being detained in custody, but there are presently no reports as to his bond status. If he is charged with first degree murder, odds are he will be detained on a no-bond hold for the time being.
According to police, Infosino allegedly called 911 around 7:10 this morning and reported that he had beaten his girlfriend in their home. He also reported that he tried to kill himself by drinking amonia.
Neighbors reported that the couple were not known to have any problems. Police have never been called out to the home. In fact, Infosino was the immediate past president of his neighborhood’s home owner association.
While the ultimate facts of what happened this morning are murky, it is possible that this is an example of a domestic violence murder/suicide. For that reason, Infosino would be best served by retaining a criminal defense lawyer immediately.
According to news reports, Infosino is presently being treated at a hospital. It is unknown whether this treatment is for any physical injury due to consuming the amonia or whether he was Baker Acted.
Clearly, my first thought on this case concerns Infosino’s state of mind. As a criminal defense lawyer, the mental competency of the defendant is my first priority. If a criminal defendant is not mentally competent, then Florida Statutes require any aspect of the proceedings that require the defendant’s presence or participation must be placed on hold.
For a criminal defendant to be declared mentally incompetent to proceed, there must be at least two evaluations performed by forensic psychologists. Mental competency is During these evaluations, a psychologist will evaluate the person’s appreciation for the nature of the charges pending against them, their sense of reality (or disassociation from it), any relevant mental health or medical records (such as prior mental health treatment or brain injury), among other things.
Once a forensic psychologist determines the defendant is mentally incompetent to proceed, the trial court will order a second evaluation. In some cases a third evaluation is conducted, especially when the second psychologist finds the defendant competent.
When a criminal defense lawyer suspects his or her client has a mental health issue, I believe it is always good practice to have the client evaluated. If the client is not competent to proceed, it will impossible to work on the defense without the client’s input. This includes preparing for depositions or even in some cases, just discussing the simple case facts with the client.
Hopefully Mr. Infosino will hire a defense lawyer who understands the importance of mental health. If this crucial aspect of his case is overlooked, it may have detrimental effects on the rest of his defense.
Not to mention the fact that Infosino may have a true insanity defense.
Clearly, much more information about this case is needed before any conclusions may be drawn. Moreover, it is absolutely crucial for investigators and Infosino’s defense lawyer to figure out what precipitated the beating that was described in the 911 call.
Did Infosino act in self-defense? Did the girlfriend attack him with a weapon? Assumptions are for police officers, not defense lawyers.
Every detail of this case must be researched with a fine tooth comb… no one fact should be left to chance.
At the end of the day, this case is very sad from every side. Hopefully justice will be served and the truth about what happened will become known, whether Infosino acted in self-defense or whether he was driven by psychological forces he could not control.