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Second Sanity Exam for Muskegon Man Accused of Stabbing Woman Trying to Help at Accident

Posted at 8:56 PM, Sep 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-04 20:56:56-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — A 35-year-old Muskegon man will undergo a second sanity evaluation after he allegedly stabbed a woman who tried to help him after his car broke down in July 2012, according to the Muskegon County Prosector’s Office.

James Albert Virgalla’s trial was initially scheduled to begin Sept. 10, but Judge William C. Marietti ordered an independent evaluation of his sanity.  Virgalla was already evaluated by a psychologist from the Michigan Department of Community Health.  The results of that report are confidential.

According to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Maat, a 27-year-old Muskegon woman tried to help Virgalla with his broken-down vehicle around 5 a.m. on July 23, 2012 near Wood Street and Marquette Avenue.  He allegedly grabbed her by the neck and stabbed her in the arm.  She begged for her life and managed to escape back to her own vehicle, Maat said.

Virgalla is charged with assault with intent to rob while armed and carjacking, both of which carry life sentences.  He is also charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm and resisting and obstructing police, which carry a combined 12 years in prison if he is convicted.

His arraignment on these charges was delayed until January 2013 because of his admission to Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital July 24.  He was also involuntarily committed by a judge.  In January he was considered well enough for release, and has since been lodged in Muskegon County Jail with bond denied.