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Palm Coast Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 3 years ago

Bova scheduled for pretrial in Mobil gas station murder case

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Joseph Frank Bova, charged with the 2013 murder of Mobil gas station clerk Zuheily Rosado, will have a pretrial hearing Nov. 2.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Joseph Frank Bova, the man charged with first degree murder in the Feb. 21, 2013 shooting of Mobil gas station clerk Zuheily Rosado, will have a pretrial hearing Nov. 2. At that point, the case could be continued, or Bova could be scheduled for trial as soon as January.

Circuit Judge David Walsh set the next pretrial date during an Oct. 7 pretrial, after Bova's attorney, Raymond Warren, said the defense team had about 19 more depositions to handle before it would be ready for trial. 

"I’m not in a position to say I’m ready for trial, and I’m not in a position to say I will be in November, but I am in a position to say I’ll be much closer," Warren told the judge at the pretrial. 

It was not always clear that Bova would face trial at all: He has been diagnosed with a schizophrenic disorder, and his attorneys said in a July 15 competency hearing that he was not competent to stand trial.

But Walsh found Bova competent to proceed to trial after psychologist Lewis Legum testified in the July 15 hearing that although Bova clearly is schizophrenic, Legum had also seen signs of malingering, and Bova seemed to understand the charges against him and had explicitly stated that he hoped to be found incompetent so his case would be dismissed.

"He’s very much aware of what he’s been charged with, both in terms of the actual name of the offense, and the substance of his reported offense,” Legum said at that hearing. 

Bova has been treated at the Northeast Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center, and is now receiving treatment at the county jail, his attorney said.

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