CLEARWATER — Attorneys for a 19-year-old Largo man plan to use a defense of insanity when he stands trial in the slaying of two women during a home break-in, they said during a hearing Wednesday.
Sage Curry is facing two counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed burglary for breaking into a Largo home in April and stabbing to death Zhaneta Dindi, 78, and her granddaughter, Hera Dindi, 17, prosecutors said.
A search warrant from the Largo Police Department and other police reports describe the crime and investigation.
Someone called 911 around 2 a.m. April 26 to report a man bleeding from the head and banging on the door of a home at 1030 8th Ave NW. The caller said the man had stepped from a house a few doors down and said repeatedly that “they” had tried to kill him. His voice was low and “sounded incoherent.”
An officer approached the bleeding man, later identified as Curry, and the man said a woman two doors down had stabbed him. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Largo police approached the house and spotted the bodies of the two women through a window at the back.
Curry first told investigators he had been stabbed by “Allison Hargraves,” or “Ali.” He said he met Ali and “Granny Smith” that day on the Pinellas Trail and they invited him back for a cigarette.
It’s unclear how he came up with the two names. A friend of Curry’s said he saw Curry the day before the attack and heard him “talking insanity,” imagining himself having sexual relations with characters on television.
Asked about which characters, he named a few, including Alison Hargreaves from The Umbrella Academy, a comedy on Netflix.
During an interview with investigators at the hospital April 26, Curry said Hera and Zhaneta had gotten into an argument while he and Hera were doing math. Hera became angry and stabbed Zhaneta, he told investigators.
Curry grabbed a knife to defend himself and stabbed Hera a number of times, he said. Asked how the argument began, Curry said he didn’t know because they were speaking French. Police later determined that Hera and Zhaneta were of Albanian descent.
Investigators continued to question Curry, asking him to repeat the sequence of events. In one version, Curry said he had seen the two women fighting before. Reminded him he had just met them, he backtracked, saying he had witnessed “short bursts of anger.”
Informed that he had likely stabbed Zhaneta, Curry nodded yes. He admitted to stabbing her while she slept on the couch, according to police reports.
Hera came out of her room around this time, the two fought and Curry stabbed her a number of times, he told investigators. She stabbed him, too, he said.
Asked why he had stabbed Zhaneta, Curry replied, “I don’t know.”
In a second interview at the hospital, Curry said he followed Hera and Zhaneta from the Pinellas Trail to their home, just five houses from the trail. He said he had never met them before. Relatives told investigators the two women commonly walked the trail together.
Curry told investigators he had entered the Largo home through a window “to find something to eat.” There were a number of knives in the home and Curry said he used “the sharpest one he could find.”
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During Wednesday’s hearing, Curry’s attorneys with the Public Defender’s Office asked to postpone the case so they can research his mental health.
“We believe that mental illness is directly linked to the allegations in this tragic case,” the office said in a statement to the Times.
A new hearing was scheduled for Nov. 29.
First-degree murder is punishable by life in prison with no possibility for parole, and under certain conditions, the death penalty.