Torture co-defendant ruled incompetent for trial

Scott Schweickert, who is accused of helping drug and torture several men, will be sent to a psychiatirc hospital.

Published February 1, 2006

TAMPA - Scott Schweickert was deemed incompetent to stand trial on Wednesday afternoon.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Pizzo ruled that Schweickert should be committed to an inpatient psychiatric hospital for no longer than four months, after hearing suggestions from a court-appointed psychiatrist Donald R. Taylor, Jr.

Schweickert, 40, of Peru, Ill., is accused of helping Steven Lorenzo, who was recently sentenced to 200 years in prison for the drugging and torturing of several men in Seminole Heights.

The two are also suspects in the killings of Michael Wachholtz and Jason Galehouse, both 26. Those men disappeared the same weekend in December 2003. Wachholtz's decomposed body was found two weeks later. Galehouse has never been found, but blood identified as his was found on Lorenzo's garage floor.

Taylor said that Schweickert thinks he is in an Illinois hospital, not in jail. Schweickert has also told jail officials that voices are telling him to kill himself.