A Wayne man accused of killing his grandmother will be tried in front of a judge only, NorthJersey.com reported Tuesday.
According to the report, Mark Dubas requested a bench trial in which a judge will decide his fate instead of a jury. A state Superior Court judge in Paterson granted his bench trial request this week, the report said.
Dubas is facing murder and criminal weapons possession charges for allegedly stabbing his 85-year-old grandmother Barbara Tyzbir with a pair of scissors three years ago after she refused to give him drug money, the report said.
The defense plans to argue that Dubas is not guilty of murder, but of aggravated manslaughter, thanks to a combination of drug use, psychiatric issues, and a reaction to the drug Prozac that diminished his mental capacity, the report said.
If convicted of murder, Dubas would face 30 years to life in prison. But, if convicted of manslaughter he’d face 10 to 30 years behind bars, the report said. Dubas’s attorney told NorthJersey.com that he requested the bench trial because he plans to have a psychiatrist testify and because the distinction between the two types of charges complicates the defense.
Dubas is in the Passaic County Jail awaiting a trial that will likely start next month, the report said.