Wife Swap Killings: Insanity Plea for Son Accused of Killing Mom, Brother Before Shooting Himself

Jacob Stockdale is scheduled to go to trial on April 9

Photo: Stark County Sheriff’s Office

An Ohio bluegrass musician whose family appeared on an episode of the ABC show Wife Swap pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the fatal shootings of his mother and brother.

On the same day as the June 15, 2017 killings, Jacob Stockdale, 26, shot himself in the head but survived.

According to a police statement, officers responding to a 911 hang-up call heard a single gun blast when they approached the family’s Beach City, Ohio, home. They walked in to find Stockdale still alive but bleeding from the head, and also found the deceased bodies of Stockdale’s mother Kathryn Barbara Stockdale, 54, and his younger brother James William Stockdale, 21.

Stockdale, 26, was charged with two counts of murder with a firearm specification, according to a statement from the Stark County Sheriff’s Office.

On Thursday, Stockdale’s attorney filed a motion to plead not guilty by reason of insanity and also requested the court to appoint a proper mental evaluation, a spokesperson for the Stark County Clerk of Courts confirms to PEOPLE. His attorney also filed a motion for a hearing to determine whether he’s competent to stand trial.

PEOPLE could not reach Stockdale’s attorney for comment.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Jacob Stockdale/Facebook

Stockdale and James, along with their father Timothy Stockdale, were members of a bluegrass group called the Stockdale Family Band.

In 2008, the Stockdale family was featured on an episode of Wife Swap, in which two families with starkly different backgrounds swap wives for a two-week period.

The segment portrayed the Stockdales as being “devoutly religious,” with a self-imposed ban on television, video games and swear words.

Stockdale’s father, Timothy, released a prepared statement following his son’s indictment in September 2018, according to a local news website at CantonRep.com.

“In the past 15 months our family has begun the healing process,” he said.

“As Jacob has undergone extensive surgeries and physical healing from his wounds, we have all taken the time to try and prepare emotionally for the legal issues ahead,” the statement continued. “My sons and I continue to love Jacob and we will continue to give our full cooperation to the authorities.”

Stockdale’s trial is scheduled to begin April 9, but could change based on Thursday’s filings.

Related Articles