Conshohocken Man Accused of Murdering Aunt Considering Mental Health Defense

The Times Herald published an article on March 17th that reported that Matthew Wertz Jr.’s lawyer, Carrie L. Allman, has filed a request for an extension to determine if he will claim mental illness in his defense. The original deadline was the end of March and the requested extension is for June 12th. Wertz is accused of killing his aunt, Catherine Wanamaker, on the 900 block of Hallowell Street in mid-December.

From the Times Herald:

Allman said the defense team needs more time to review “hundreds of pages of records detailing substance abuse, addiction and mental health issues of Mr. Wertz,” including a heroin overdose and hospitalization on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13, 2016, just days before the Dec. 16 stabbing death of his 60-year-old aunt, Catherine Wanamaker.

“Additionally, due to Mr. Wertz’s physical limitations, as well as a pronounced stutter, gathering information and an accurate history has been complicated,” Allman wrote in court papers, explaining additional time is needed to determine if an expert is needed to testify about Wertz’s mental condition.

“One of the key issues in this matter will be a determination of whether Mr. Wertz had the specific intent to kill, as required to sustain the commonwealth’s charge of first-degree murder. As such, it is critical that the defense explore all avenues to negate first-degree murder,” Allman added.

If you aren’t familiar with this case, you can read this article from the day of his arrest.