Hearing continued for alleged carjacker for competency hearing

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]

WILKES-BARRE — A preliminary hearing for Angelo Brito, accused of carjacking a vehicle outside the Wyoming Valley Mall on New Year’s Day, was continued again Monday until he is mentally evaluated.

Attorney Joseph Yeager, who represents Brito, recently filed a motion in Luzerne County Court indicating Brito was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and has a history of mental illness. Brito has not consistently taken his medications and has had multiple psychotic admissions, the motion says.

Brito, of Madison Street, Wilkes-Barre, allegedly displays severe paranoia and is unable to communicate about his case.

Judge David Lupas ordered Brito to undergo a mental health evaluation by a psychiatrist to determine of Brito is competent to face charges filed against him.

Brito was charged by Wilkes-Barre Township police accusing him of stealing a 2015 Audi Q7 that was occupied by a 15-year-old boy outside the mall on Jan. 1. Brito pulled the teen from the Audi, jumped in the driver’s seat and drove away, side swiping a vehicle on Kidder Street, according to the criminal complaint.

State police located the Audi parked in front of a drive way on West Venisa Drive in Hazle Township.

Police said Brito’s sister resides on West Venisa Drive.

Brito was charged with two counts of robbery, and one count each of aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle, accidents involving attended vehicle, disorderly conduct, harassment, reckless driving and careless driving. He has remained jailed at the county correctional facility for lack of $75,000 bail since his arrest on Jan. 8.

Since Brito’s arrest, his preliminary hearing has been continued four times due to his mental status.

On Monday, District Judge Joseph Spagnuolo Jr. continued Brito’s preliminary hearing, re-scheduling the proceeding on May 14.

By Ed Lewis

[email protected]