A man whose family was featured on the reality show “Wife Swap” has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the deaths of his mother and brother, more than one year after allegedly fatally shooting them both before turning the gun on himself.
Jacob Stockdale, 26, stands accused of a double homicide in the June 2017 killings of his mother, 54-year-old Kathryn Barbara Stockdale and brother, 21-year-old James William Stockdale.
Police responded to the family’s home in Beach City, Ohio on June 15 after receiving a 911 hang-up call, People reports. Police told the outlet that, upon their arrival, they heard a single gunshot ring out and then entered the home to find a grisly scene: Stockdale was lying on the floor, bleeding from a head wound but still alive. Kathryn’s body was found in an upstairs bathroom, and James, near the front door, according to TMZ.
Police believe that Stockdale was trying to kill himself, People reports.
In addition to the not guilty plea, Stockdale’s attorney also requested on Thursday that the court appoint a mental evaluation, and asked for a hearing to determine whether Stockdale is competent to stand trial, according to People.
Authorities took Stockdale into custody in September 2018, more than one year after the killings, after a county grand jury issued an indictment, the Stark County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Having healed by then from the self-inflicted gunshot wound, Stockdale was booked in the county jail on two counts of murder and a firearm specification, the office states. He entered a not guilty plea, local outlet CantonRep.com reports.
“It is our hope that this arrest offers some closure to the Stockdale family and the entire community,” Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier said in a statement.
The Stockdale family was featured in a 2008 episode of “Wife Swap,” a reality show in which mothers from two families with differing backgrounds trade households for two weeks. The Stockdale family’s episode focused on their “wholesome values” and family bluegrass band.
The suspect’s father, Timothy Stockdale, was not home at the time of the murders, according to People. In a prepared statement obtained by CantonRep.com, he stated that he and the rest of the family still love Jacob.
“In the past 15 months our family has begun the healing process,” he said.
“As Jacob has undergone extensive surgeries and physical healing from his wounds, we have all taken the time to try and prepare emotionally for the legal issues ahead,” he said. “My sons and I continue to love Jacob and we will continue to give our full cooperation to the authorities.”
[Photo: Stark County Sheriff’s Office]
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