Trial postponed for ex-Pitt soccer player accused of murdering father
A judge has postponed a bench trial until early September for the former Plum youth soccer coach accused of killing her father by stabbing him to death while her parents tried to get her to check in to a mental health hospital.
Christina Nicassio, 29, a former Pitt Panther and Plum High School graduate, has been in custody since her arrest nearly two years ago in connection to the death of her father, Anthony Nicassio, a UPMC internist and primary care physician. She faces homicide and weapons charges.
A bench trial scheduled to happen as early as last week now has been pushed until Sept. 10.
Shortly after 3 a.m. on May 7, 2017, an Allegheny County 911 dispatcher reported that a woman may be having “some kind of psychiatric episode” during an altercation with her mother and father at their Capri Court home in Plum. The dispatcher can be heard on the 911 system warning officers that she may be armed with a knife and that “the daughter is trying to stab the mother and the father.”
About 3:15 a.m., while the first officer to arrive waited for backup, Sandra Nicassio, Christina’s mother, told police that her husband had been stabbed and the knife still was in his chest. Three minutes later, officers took Christina Nicassio into custody.
She told police that she stabbed her father twice with a kitchen knife, saying, “I don’t know why, I thought he had to die,” and that she “felt the word was ending,” a criminal complaint said. Then she mentioned getting “played by Hollywood” and referenced the movie, “The Mummy Returns.”
“In a movie, someone who can’t love someone else, they stab their father,” police quoted her as saying.
In the hours leading up to the stabbing, her parents were trying convince their daughter to check into a hospital for treatment, but she did not want to go, the complaint said. Her mother, Sandra Nicassio, told police her daughter had been struggling to cope with her fiancé calling off their engagement the week before.
Soon after she was booked into Allegheny County Jail, Christina Nicassio injured herself by ramming her head into a cell wall and was placed on suicide watch.
On May 15, 2017, a judge ruled that Christina Nicassio was incompetent to stand trial after hearing testimony from a psychiatrist that the defendant appeared to be experiencing psychosis and suffered from long-term mental health issues, including major depressive disorder.
Her attorney, Patrick Thomassey, said at the time that what happened was all the more tragic and senseless because Christina and Anthony Nicassio “were as close as a father and daughter can be.” She also was close to her mother, according to friends and family, and worked alongside Sandra Nicassio on a mother-daughter real estate team.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .