By Roger Lanse
A sequestered hearing to determine the competency of Joseph Costello in the matter of the first-degree murder of Stephen Timmons was held at the Sixth Judicial District Court in Silver City on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, in front of Judge Jim Foy. Judge Foy ruled Costello to be incompetent, according to District Attorney Michael Renteria.
Renteria told the Beat Costello will be committed to a state-affiliated mental health hospital for a 30-day assessment period to determine whether treatment will enable him to understand court proceedings.
In the event the treatment is not successful and Costello is judged incompetent to stand trial, Renteria said, his office will attempt to have Costello committed to a mental hospital for the same amount of time he would have received if he had been found guilty of the first-degree murder charge.
"In no way, do I want this individual released into our community," Renteria stated. "I am not the judge, I am only the prosecutor. But, I will do everything in my power to see Costello placed where he cannot harm anyone."