Man accused of killing girlfriend ‘does not understand what is happening,’ according to documents
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IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death struggles to understand legal proceedings because of a disability, according to court documents.
Because of the challenge, the Bonneville County Public Defender’s Office has asked Magistrate Judge Jason D. Walker to allow Philip Schwab’s mother to visit him in-person at the Bonneville County Jail. Schwab is charged with first-degree murder for the death of his 33-year-old girlfriend Kaylynn Blue.
“Mr. Schwab has little to no social skills and as such does not understand what is happening right now,” according to the motion. “He is on Social Security disability and his mother has been his caregiver for a number of years. Ms. (Sheryl) Ashment knows how to communicate with the defendant in a way he can process.”
Court documents filed by the Public Defender’s Office say Schwab was diagnosed with 22q 11.2 deletion, or DiGeorge Syndrome. One symptom of the syndrome is developmental delays causing difficulties in understanding.
According to the National Institutes of Health, DiGeorge Syndrome symptoms vary widely from person to person. An estimated 1 in 4,000 people are diagnosed with the disorder. Individuals with the syndrome are at an increased risk for developing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
Walker approved the request and a preliminary hearing for Schwab is scheduled for Nov. 1.