Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Family Tried to Get Slaying Suspect Committed

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Family Tried to Get Slaying Suspect Committed

Article excerpt

The family of a mentally ill man accused of fatally stabbing his grandmother tried at least twice before her death to have him committed but did not succeed, his attorney said Friday.

Levi Staver, 27, of Richland, stabbed 76-year-old Constance Johnston in the back while she and her husband, David, ate breakfast in their Richland home Feb. 19, according to court paperwork. Ms. Johnston died a short while later, despite efforts by her husband and medics to save her.

County police quoted Mr. Staver in a criminal complaint as saying after his grandmother's death that he was employed by "the Angelic Army under the direction of the archangel Michael," who gave him a nonverbal directive to "kill the witch."

Police also wrote that Mr. Staver, who waived his preliminary hearing Friday, told them "if the archangel wants me to do something, I just do it."

Mr. Staver was arrested the day of his grandmother's death and sent to Torrance State Hospital on the recommendation of those working in the Allegheny County Jail's behavior clinic. …

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