Wildwood man accused in fatal bat attack competent to stand trial

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CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — A Wildwood man charged with the first-degree murder of 19-year-old Vincent DeSario is fit to stand trial, Judge Raymond Batten ruled Jan. 30.

According to law clerk Eliott Almanza, Batten ruled that despite Alberto Martinez’s suffering from auditory and visual hallucinations, as well as delusional thinking, he was competent to stand trial for the 2010 murder of DeSario.

According to police reports, Martinez hit DeSario in the head with a baseball bat on May 11, 2010 because he thought DeSario had been laughing at him while walking down Atlantic Avenue with a group of friends. 

Police, at the time, said the assailant fled on a bicycle.

Martinez, then a 28-year-old homeless man, who formerly lived on Rio Grande Avenue, was arrested soon after and charged with the assault. 

DeSario, of Edison, had been a student at Middlesex County College, police said, and was in Wildwood to participate in an annual community college golf tournament at Cape May National Golf Club.

According to several sources, the Middlesex County College student was set to graduate on May 20, 2010. He died from his injuries at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center on May 24, 2010.

After DeSario’s death, Martinez was charged with murder, police said.

On Wednesday, Batten heard testimony from Martinez’s psychiatrist, Dr. Bernard Moise, who said that although Martinez did suffer from schizophrenia, he was still capable of understanding aspects of the trial, Alamanza said.

Defense attorney Stephen Patrick challenged the competency finding.

A trial date has not been set for Martinez, however, an evidence hearing is planned for Feb. 25 at 1:30 p.m.

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