Queens man arraigned in therapist’s killing

David Tarloff, 39, leaves a police precinct in New York City on Saturday after his arrest in the slaying of Kathryn Faughey.Andy Kropa / AP
/ Source: NBC News and news services

A man accused of hacking a Manhattan therapist to death rambled and appeared agitated during his arraignment Sunday before the judge ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

David Tarloff, 39, was arraigned on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault. He claimed that his court-appointed lawyer, Reginald Sharpe, was "not an attorney."

"I've seen his driver's license," Tarloff said. "I don't know him."

Acting Supreme Court Justice Ruth Pickholz ordered that Tarloff have a psychiatric evaluation before being brought back to court Feb. 23.

Tarloff was arrested Saturday after investigators matched his palm prints with those at the bloody scene where therapist Kathryn Faughey was killed Tuesday evening. Police said his prints were found on a suitcase — filled with adult diapers and women's — left near the basement door where the killer escaped.

Also found was a smaller bag with rope, duct tape and knives not used in the attack, police said.

Suspect had been arrested earlier
Police said Tarloff told investigators he planned to rob another psychiatrist he said had institutionalized him 17 years ago, then flee country with his mother, who is in a nursing home but until recently had lived with him.

Tarloff made incriminating statements during a 35-minute interrogation, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. But the commissioner declined to say whether Tarloff had confessed.

Police said it remained unclear why Tarloff would have attacked Faughey, who was slashed 15 times. Dr. Kent Shinbach, the psychiatrist police say Tarloff intended to rob, came to Faughey's aid from his nearby office and was badly injured.

Kelly couldn't confirm whether Tarloff was ever Shinbach's patient or whether he'd met Faughey.

Tarloff had been arrested earlier this month on charges of punching a security guard in the face after being asked to leave St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Queens, Kelly said. It was not clear why Tarloff had been at the hospital.