Man accused of impaling grocery store clerk with golf club declared incompetent

The man accused of killing a cashier during a brutal attack with a golf club at a Loring Park grocery store has been found incompetent to move forward with the criminal proceedings. 

Taylor Schulz, 44, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 66-year-old Robert Skafte. The clerk was working at the Oak Grove Grocery on Dec. 8 when Schulz took an item of merchandise to the counter, then immediately walked around the counter and attacked Skafte, charges claim. Skafte tried to get away, but Schulz allegedly continued to beat him, eventually grabbing a golf club from behind the counter and striking Skafte multiple times. 

During a hearing on Tuesday, Schulz was found incompetent to move forward with the criminal proceedings. A doctor with the Hennepin County District Court Psychological Services determined Schulz, through mental illness or cognitive impairment, either lacks the ability to consult with his lawyers, understand the proceedings, or participate in his own defense, according to the ruling filed Wednesday. 

In the meantime, criminal court proceedings are put on hold until Schulz is determined to be competent, and a review hearing is scheduled for July 16. Schulz remains in custody at the Hennepin County Jail as of Jan. 17, and his bail is set at $1 million. 

The Hennepin County Attorney’s office released the following statement:

"Taylor Justin Schulz remains in secure custody after a judge ruled yesterday that he is currently not competent to face murder charges in the December 2023 killing of Robert Howard Skafte. State law now calls for the county to conduct a thorough review of Mr. Schulz’s history and circumstances before the County Attorney’s Office can move forward with civil commitment proceedings. 

"Schulz will remain in custody at the Hennepin County jail as this process plays out. If a judge determines that Schulz meets commitment criteria, treatment efforts to assist Schulz in attaining competence will begin. If he is found to be competent in the future, the County Attorney’s Office will immediately resume proceedings in the criminal case."

According to Anoka County court records, Schulz was civilly committed in 2021.


Judge orders competency evaluation for suspect in deadly Minneapolis grocery clerk attack

Suspect Taylor Schulz has a history of mental health issues. He was civilly committed a couple of years ago. Hennepin County District Court Judge Michael Burns has now ordered Schulz to undergo a competency evaluation following the deadly attack inside Oak Grove Grocery in Loring Park.