SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A jury of 12 people and 4 alternates was chosen today in the Patino murder trial. Nelson D. Patino is accused of fatally stabbing his wife and 5-year-old child and injuring his 2-year-old on Dec. 1, 2021.

Patino was recently deemed competent to stand trial, according to Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney. After being indicted in January 2022, Patino pleaded not guilty to six charges, including murder, attempted murder, and assault in Schenectady County Court.

Carney says this is a tough case, because many people have been excused or asking to be excused because they cannot handle what will be the graphic nature of this case. The DA also says he is anticipating Patino’s lawyers will be using a psychiatric defense to argue that he was not mentally aware of the gravity of the crime. The surprise is the type of psychological defense that Patino is using — COVID made him kill.

“The added twist in this case is that the defense is arguing that he did not have did not have a pre-existing psychiatric condition like schizophrenia, or something like that. But that he had a viral infection that somehow caused him to be psychotic,” said DA Carney.

If Patino’s lawyers do bring up the COVID-19 defense, Carney says he will counter with experts to strike down that theory.

“Our position will be to introduce that defense that we will have our own set of experts and evidence to her about it. We do not believe he was suffering from a psychotic break. We do not believe that COVID-19 caused anything like that with him” said Carney.

The killings, which occurred in 2021, is being tried now because of COVID-19 related court delays.

Opening arguments in this case are set for Monday at 9:30 AM it is still up in the air whether the media will be able to film the proceedings.