The man charged with repeatedly stabbing his ex-wife's lawyer in the lawyer's Fridley office last year will be civilly committed for treatment before he can stand trial.

Sheikh Nyane, 34, was charged with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing Terri Melcher more than 30 times in a fit of rage over an unfavorable child custody ruling. She lost half her blood before hours of surgery saved her life.

Nyane's trial was scheduled for June, but he had been deemed both competent and incompetent to stand trial by two psychologists. On Tuesday, an Anoka County judge ruled he was mentally ill and sent him to the state security hospital in St. Peter for treatment. He could stay up to six months, but prosecutors believe Nyane will be restored to competency quickly. He suffers from depression, authorities said.

Melcher, 55, who suffered some initial nerve damage to her face during the attack, is almost completely healed. She is a well-known family law attorney in the Twin Cities.

Nyane told police he was upset with Melcher, who represented his former spouse in court proceedings, according to the complaint against him.

To receive a "competent" evaluation to stand trial, defendants must be able to understand the nature of the court proceedings and work rationally with their attorney.

DAVID CHANEN