Sky Walker ruled incompetent to stand trial by judge

Tom Gallick

Steuernagel’s son is now in state’s care

A Portage County judge ruled Sky Walker incompetent to stand trial for the murder of his mother, political science professor Gertrude “Trudy” Steuernagel, yesterday.

Walker, who is autistic, was charged with two counts of murder following his mother’s death.

John Enlow, Portage County Common Pleas judge, ordered that Walker “be committed to the Northwest Ohio Developmental Center until restored to competency subject to bi-annual review,” according to court documents.

The court also ruled that all other charges against Walker will be dropped.

“At this point, he has been bound over to the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities,” Walker’s attorney Deron Boring said. “They are to care for him. They’ll see that all his needs are met.”

The court cited psychological reports written by Drs. Marianne K. Wohl and Daniel P. Cowan, as evidence of Walker’s inability to stand trial.

“Dr. Wohl and Dr. Cowan concur that the defendant, Sky A. Walker, is unable to participate and communicate with his counsel,” Enlow wrote in his decision. “Each of them express the opinion that they would not expect Mr. Walker to be restored to competency within a year.”

Attorneys for the prosecution and the defense had agreed on Friday that Walker was incompetent to stand trial.

Police found Steuernagel in her home Jan. 29. She was taken to Akron City Hospital where she died Feb. 6.

Contact public affairs reporter Tom Gallick at [email protected].