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Plum woman declared legally insane after father’s stabbing death may never face trial, lawyer says

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — It’s been seven years since investigators say a former All-American soccer player stabbed her father to death. Christina Nicassio’s lawyer tells Channel 11 he doesn’t think she’ll ever stand trial.

“I’ve done over 100 homicides in my career, and this is one of the saddest ones I’ve ever had,” Patrick Thomassey said.

Thomassey says it’s still one of the saddest cases in his 48 years of practicing law. About every month, Nicassio checks in with a judge at the Allegheny County Courthouse.

“She was an All-American soccer player at Pitt,” Thomassey said. “She was doing so well. To this day, mental health, it’s a huge problem. Huge problem in this country. Go watch mental health court sometime. It’ll rip your heart out. It really will.”

Nicassio is 34 years old now. But seven years ago, on May 6, 2017, at 27 years old, Nicassio was charged with stabbing her father to death in her parent’s home in Plum. Her father, Anthony, was a primary care physician at UPMC.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE >>> Former Pitt soccer player charged with stabbing father to death

“She had a great relationship with her family, especially her father,” Thomassey said. “And when somebody can’t even remember one small aspect of what he or she did as a result of mental illness, it’s very sad. And of course, she lives with that, and there’s no going back on that. That’s the hardest part of these kinds of cases.”

Nicassio told police that she thought her father had to die and referenced the movie The Mummy Returns, saying she got “played by Hollywood.” Psychologists for the defense and prosecution found that she was not competent for trial, declaring her legally insane. She’ll likely never go to trial.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE >>> Judge: Plum woman not competent to stand trial in father’s stabbing death

“Our system for handling mentally ill people is horrible,” Thomassey said.

While Thomassey says the mental health system helped Nicassio, he believes the legislature needs to work on opening more facilities.

“Across this state, we don’t have enough,” Thomassey said. “We don’t know what to do with people who are coming off of insanity for the lack of a better word.”

Nicassio spent three years at Torrance State Hospital, which is one of six in the state. Now, she’s in a long-term residential treatment facility under county care. Thomassey says she’s doing well.

“I don’t think the system has failed,” Thomassey said. “I think the system has helped Christina tremendously. The problem is that we don’t have enough resources and in other counties, they have no resources.”

Nicassio is scheduled to be back for a status hearing on May 15. There’s no indication that those monthly check-ins are going to end anytime soon.

“Hopefully at some point, she will not be under court jurisdiction,” said Thomassey. “When that’s going to be I don’t know.”

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