Judge orders son of slain Oklahoma Labor Commissioner to undergo mental competency hearing


Christian Costello

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A man accused of fatally stabbing his father, Oklahoma’s former labor commissioner, went before an Oklahoma County judge on Wednesday

Christian Costello, 27, had pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge in the Aug. 23 death of his father, former Labor Commissioner Mark Costello.

Prosecutors say Christian Costello attacked his father with a knife and repeatedly stabbed him at an Oklahoma City restaurant. In February, Costello waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the case.

Defense attorney Bob Ravitz has said Costello is “very remorseful” and was examined by a private psychiatrist.

Costello’s family says he suffers from a mental illness and court records show Costello previously spent 90 days in a mental health facility and took mood stabilizers.

On Wednesday, Costello went before Judge Ray Elliott for a pre-trial hearing.

During the hearing, Costello told the court that he “wanted to plead guilty and go to Minnesota to meet with a pediatrician that once helped him,” according to Ravitz.

Costello also allegedly claimed that the doctor made him a “32nd degree mason and would give him a hand anytime he needed it.”

After listening to the plea, Elliott ordered the Oklahoma State Department of Mental Health to examine Costello to see if he was competent enough to enter a guilty plea.

Costello’s next court date will be Aug. 10.

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