Barbeau ruled competent for trial

by Jeff Pederson
Sheboygan Falls News Editor

A 13-year-old Sheboygan County charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of his great-grandmother at her Sheboygan Falls home in September was found to be competent to stand trial Friday, Nov. 2, in Sheboygan County Circuit Court.

During a court appearance on Monday, Oct. 15, Sheboygan County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Van Akkeren ordered Barbeau to complete a mental health evaluation administered by a court-appointed professional to determine if he was fit enough to stand trial.

During last Friday’s competency hearing, Van Akkeren declared Barbeau fit to stand trial, based on the results of the completed mental health evaluation.

Barbeau’s Attorney George Limbeck had requested the evaluation, contending that Barbeau lacked the ability to comprehend the legal concepts required to assist both his defense and for a reverse waiver hearing that will be held to determine if the case will be sent to juvenile court.

Limbeck also said at the Oct. 15 hearing that Barbeau’s age ad a brain injury he sustained in a car accident several years ago might be impairing his mental competency.

When Van Akkeren announced his conclusion that Barbeau was competent to stand trial, Limbeck did not challenge the judge’s ruling.

Barbeau and his friend Nathan Paape, 13, were charged with firstdegree intentional homicide for allegedly killing Barbeau’s greatgrandmother, Barbara J. Olson at her home with a hammer and a hatchet on Sept. 17.

Barbeau and Paape also allegedly stole items from Olson’s home and used money they stole to buy marijuana and pizza.

In a state submitted to The Sheboygan Falls News on Oct. 13, Olson’s family indicated that Barbeau had suffered a serious brain injury in a car accident three years ago when he was a student at Wilson Elementary School in Sheboygan, which had altered his personality and impeded his ability to function at a normal level.

“Before the accident, Tino was a ball of energy,” Olson family said in a statement. “He never stopped talking and was constantly in motion. He excelled at everything he did, from school work to sports. This all changed after the accident.

“He became less talkative, even quiet,” the statement said. “It was many month of special care and restrictions before his life began to resemble normalcy. To this day, he has not fully recovered, and it could be years before we learn if he ever will.”

If convicted as an adult on the first-degree intentional homicide charge, Barbeau could face life in prison and a minimum of 20 years behind bars.

A conviction in adult court would require him to be sent to a juvenile corrections facility until at least age 17, with the remainder of his sentence served in adult prison.

If he were to be convicted as a juvenile, Barbeau would be sentenced to a juvenile corrections facility until the age of 25.

Paape also appeared in court for Barbeau’s hearing, but his attorney has not field a motion seeking a competency evaluation.

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