The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

May 5, 2014

Murder trial moving forward

Minissale found competent to stand trial

MANKATO — Following the advice of a psychologist and a psychiatrist, a judge has issued an order saying a Minneapolis man is again competent enough to face a first-degree murder charge for allegedly killing a Mankato woman.

Levi Spencer Minissale, 25, was moved from the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter back to the Blue Earth County Jail after a hearing Friday before District Court Judge Kurt Johnson.

Johnson also issued the order Friday citing recommendations made by Martin Lloyd, a forensic psychologist, and Michael Farnsworth, a forensic psychiatrist.

After completing tests at the hospital, both Lloyd and Farnsworth found Minissale is competent enough to cooperate with his attorneys and move forward with the case.

Minissale was arrested June 6 after police found 20-year-old Yesenia "Sunny" Gonzalez dead at her house in the 1400 block of Second Avenue. Her throat had been cut and her husband, Gallo Buccio Ruiz, had been stabbed.

Minissale was found in the bathroom of a nearby convenience store. He allegedly told investigators he had been traveling back to Minneapolis from Sioux Falls, S.D., when he stopped at Gonzalez's house to talk to her. Minissale said he brought a hunting knife into the house, according to the criminal complaint. Gonzalez and Minissale knew each other and had a sexual relationship that had ended.

Ruiz's father, who has not been identified, told police he was sleeping when Gonzalez woke him. She was holding her hand to her throat and was bleeding when she brought him upstairs, where Ruiz was found with knife injuries. Gonzalez died at the scene. Ruiz told investigators he had been attacked by Minissale.

Johnson issued an order that sent Minissale to Security Hospital for treatment in January. He also wanted Minissale to be tested to determine if he is mentally ill, mentally deficient or mentally ill and dangerous. The commitment order said Minissale was a danger to himself and others because he was grossly disorganized, had experienced hallucinations that resulted in bizarre behavior and had threatened to harm or kill other inmates and jail staff.

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