Murder suspect may undergo more tests

WARREN – Even though 62-year-old Royce Honaker of Southington has been restored to a competent enough level to stand trial, a judge may still order further testing on the man’s plea that he’s not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.

Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Andrew Logan said Tuesday that more mental tests on the defendant will hold up the schedule until test results are received by the court.

The not guilty by reason of insanity plea is normally an issue that is decided by a jury and a claim that focuses on a defendant’s tate of mind at the time of the crime.

Honaker is accused of killing his wife nearly two years ago when he picked up the phone and confessed to a police dispatcher that he shot her.

Honaker and his wife’s $519,965 estate, consisting of three pieces of property, a $108,000 life insurance policy that names Honaker as the beneficiary and two PNC bank accounts and one pension check belonging to his wife will be turned over to the couple’s three sons and a daughter, according to a recent decision by Probate Judge Thomas A. Swift, who approved a settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit.

At that hearing, Honaker’s attorney, John Juhasz, announced that his client had been restored to full competency, mostly with medication, at Heartland Behavorial Healthcare in Massillon.

Honaker was indicted on aggravated murder charges, which can mean a prison term of 20 years to life. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bond.

According to authorities, Honaker called 911 on July 31, 2012, and told dispatchers he had just killed his 58-year-old wife, Donna. He told the dispatcher his address, then hung up when she asked what happened.

Family members of both Royce and Donna Honaker said Royce Honaker suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and that his condition had worsened, leading up to the shooting. Royce Honaker installed security cameras and motion sensor lights throughout their property and boarded up windows because he believed people were watching him, family said.