Branchport man accused of killing mother will undergo mental competency exam

Yates County Judge Jason Cook has authorized a mental competency exam for the Branchport man accused of killing his mother.

Cook made the decision during Paul Khouzam’s arraignment Thursday in county court. Khouzam pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, first-degree burglary, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and aggravated cruelty to animals.

The charges stem from an Aug. 6 incident. Khouzam, 37, is accused of beating and stabbing his 67-year-old mother, Dr. Magda Daoud, at her home on Arrowhead Beach Road in Torrey, just north of Dresden.

Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella said he did not oppose the competency exam. Casella noted Khouzam has been convicted of a felony in Schuyler County, as well as several misdemeanor convictions, and was on probation at the time of his arrest.

Khouzam was represented at the arraignment by Assistant Public Defender Dave Mashewske; Mashewske asked Cook to approve the competency test. Mashewske said his office also will be asking Cook to assign Khouzam another attorney, citing “complexities in the case” and the public defender’s office being shorthanded.

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