CROWN POINT — A man accused of killing local radio personality Velia Taneff and her daughter more than three years ago is competent to stand trial and has worked out his differences with his public defenders.
James A. Lohnes, 48, told Lake Criminal Court Judge Samuel Cappas he took the judge's advice and presented a list of his concerns to his attorneys.
Defense attorney Nicholas Barnes said he planned to file a motion to suppress evidence by next week. The motion will pertain to video surveillance collected at the alleged crime scene, he said.
Barnes also said attorneys had scheduled several depositions in the case, an issue about which Lohnes previously raised concern.
Lohnes is accused of strangling Velia Taneff, 86, and her daughter Lana Taneff, 63, on Jan. 17, 2016, at Velia Taneff's Calumet Township property.
Police found their bodies after responding to the property for a welfare check on the elder Taneff. Officers also discovered Velia Taneff's Cadillac was missing.
Nearly a week later, Ohio State Police arrested Lohnes on the Ohio Turnpike near Montpelier after a trooper saw him walking near Taneff's vehicle, which was parked along the road. Lohnes told the trooper Taneff had gone to a gas station because they ran out of gas, court records say.
On Thursday, Cappas assured Lohnes that his decision to keep working with Barnes and defense attorney Mark Chargualaf was wise.
Two specialists evaluated Lohnes and found him to be competent to assist in his own defense, Barnes said. Cappas agreed the results put the question of competency to rest.
Cappas set an Oct. 4 hearing on Barnes' anticipated motion to suppress.
Lohnes is scheduled to stand trial starting Nov. 12.