78-year-old murder suspect to undergo competency exam ahead of insanity defense

A 78-year-old New Canaan man accused of killing his wife last year will undergo a competency evaluation before moving forward with an insanity plea.
A judge ordered that exam during Albert Kokoth's remote court appearance Monday.
"It's just to make sure he understands these proceedings and the defense we're moving forward with," Kokoth's attorney, Mark Sherman, explained. "His defense is going to be based on mental disease or defect. We're going to be asking the court to find him not guilty by reason of insanity based on a mental health episode that happened at the time of the alleged offense."
Kokoth has been in custody for nearly 11 months -- ever since May 6,2021, when 75-year-old Margaret Kokoth was shot to death inside the couple's home on Down River Road. Police said Kokoth called his daughter first, then 911, telling both he was showing his wife his shotgun when it went off by mistake.
But the investigation determined this wasn't an accident. Court documents show Margaret Kokoth died from two separate shots, one to her head and one to her body. Police also said they found a slug in a wall. A neighbor reported hearing two distinct shots 15 minutes apart.
"I know Albert feels tremendous remorse for what happened here," Sherman told News 12 after court.
Kokoth's arrest warrant reveals one of his sons-in-law told police Kokoth's daughter had concerns about her dad for the past few months due to dementia, even telling her husband, "...if they don't do something they're gonna find her mother/Margaret shot dead."
The warrant also includes a report from an officer on scene who heard Kokoth utter to one of his daughters, "Now they have something exciting to post in the Newcanaanite." Another officer apparently overheard Kokoth tell her, "This is some Mother's Day gift."
"Once he's evaluated for competence and determined that he is competent to stand trial, we'll move forward with a three-judge panel that will determine whether my client is not guilty by reason of insanity," Sherman said.
If that is the finding at trial, Kokoth would be committed to Whiting Forensic Hospital in Middletown.
"It's a really, really tragic and difficult case, and we're just trying to resolve it in a way that's fair for everybody," Sherman said.