Khouzam not competent; accused murderer committed for one year

John Christensen
Paul Khouzam after his August 2018 arrest

PAUL KHOUZAM, 38, the man charged with 2nd degree murder and other felony charges for the Aug. 6, 2018 death of his mother, Dr. Magda Khouzam-Daoud, appeared in Yates County Criminal Court Tuesday, April 9. Shackled to the waist, with a long beard, and making no eye or audible contact with his attorney, Khouzam stood silently throughout the appearance.

According to Judge Jason Cook, two independent psychiatric reports ordered by the court, conducted by Dr. Hoyt and Dr. Reynolds, have been returned, and both found Khouzam to be “an incapacitated person at this time;” unable to recall events, understand the charges or criminal process, nor to assist in his defense, having no functional relationship with assigned attorney Robert Zimmerman.

Both Zimmerman and District Attorney Todd Casella requested that Cook issue an order of commitment.

Cook concurred and committed Khouzam to the N.Y. State Commissioner of Mental Health for him to be held in an appropriate, secure, psychiatric facility for 1 year. That facility is still to be determined. Khouzam was returned to Yates County Jail, where he has been held for several months. 

Cook also ordered any action on the case suspended for 1 year. With the case suspended, the $1 million bail/$2 million bond remains in place.