Guilford teen found competent to stand trial in attempted murder case

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A Guilford teen accused of stabbing a stranger in Westport has been found competent to stand trial.

Ellis Tibere appeared in court Tuesday. He is charged with attempted murder.

The court accepted a report Tuesday that found Tibere "did not exhibit signs of psychiatric illness or any cognitive deficits" during an interview with mental health experts. They wrote "Mr. Tibere exhibited an ability to make rational decisions and realistically assess possible outcomes," unanimously concluding he understood the legal proceedings and could help in his own defense.

Police say Tibere walked up to a woman's car in the parking lot of New Beauty Wellness on Post Road East on Jan. 6. They say he was wearing a mask and holding a knife when he opened her door and began stabbing her in the legs. Police say he only stopped when a man came out of the spa.

Shortly after, police found Tibere driving south on the Sherwood Island Connector and arrested him without incident.

In an interview, Tibere confessed to the crime, telling police he sat in the parking lot for three hours before the stabbing.

He also said he chose the location and victim at random.

The victim is a 33-year-old woman from Greenwich. She is being represented by Gene Riccio, who also was at Tuesday's hearing. He says she is "struggling" but "showing incredible bravery and toughness in the face of this situation."

The competency evaluation was ordered at Tibere's first court appearance last month. The 18-year-old has been in custody on a $1 million bond since his arrest.

Tibere is now being represented by attorney John Gulash, who asked for a hearing next week to argue for lowering the bond.

Gulash won't say what he's asking the bond to be lowered to, but he'll make his arguments on Monday, Feb. 24. Riccio said he and his client believe bond should stay as is.

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