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NOT COMPETENT: Proceedings suspended in fatal stabbing case

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MILWAUKEE COUNTY (WITI) — 49-year-old John Vegas — the West Allis man charged in connection with the stabbing death of 63-year-old Barbara Blong has had his case suspended — due to his mental health issues.

Vegas appeared in Milwaukee County court on May 20th for a competency hearing.

The court found that Vegas is not competent to proceed in the case against him — and a determined that Vegas is not likely to become competent within the statutory time period.

The court ordered the proceedings against Vegas be suspended — and ordered that he be remanded into the custody of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office — and taken immediately to the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division — where he shall be held for proceedings under Wisconsin’s Mental Health Act – Chapter 51.

A review hearing for Vegas is scheduled for February 20th, 2015.

Vegas allegedly stabbed Blong, who was his neighbor, outside of her apartment on Washington Street in West Allis — a building that serves as a transitional residence for people with disabilities. Blong was found dead shortly after the incident occurred by her roommate.

According to the criminal complaint, Blong’s roommate found her lying face down on the floor near the opened door to their apartment after being awoken from a nap due to yelling.

When police arrived on the scene, they conducted a protective sweep of the other apartments at 7402 W. Washington to make sure that no one else was injured or potentially killed. Upon making contact with Vegas, police noticed he had an injury to his finger and requested consent to search his residence.

Upon searching Vegas’ residence police found a yellow jacket, which appeared to have blood on it. At that time, police terminated their search and applied for a search warrant.

According to the criminal complaint, Vegas initially denied involvement in Blong’s death, stating he wasn’t a violent person, but that he was on medication because he had been hearing voices in his head that were tormenting him. Vegas later admitted that he stabbed Blong with a kitchen knife that was approximately eight inches long.

According to officials, Vegas stated that he unlocked the door to his apartment and ran toward Blong, who was standing by her door with her back to him, and started stabbing her. According to the complaint, Vegas stated that at the time he stabbed Blong he was hearing voices that “got him going.”

According to the complaint, Vegas stated he had been “hearing voices for a couple months and that the same voices caused him to break his windows last week in his apartment and that he also stabbed a reclining chair in his apartment because he saw some type of spirit.”

Upon performing an autopsy it was determined that Blong sustained 36 stab wounds to both the front and back of her body, and determined that she died as a result of multiple sharp force injuries.