Hammer attack suspect competent for trial

Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:58 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A Washington, D.C., man charged in a series of assaults with a hammer was judged competent to stand trial, doctors said.

A report Tuesday from St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington said Michael Davis, 19, is mentally competent and capable of helping lawyers prepare his defense, but suggested his schizophrenia and other mental illnesses could return or worsen.

Davis was arrested in May and charged with first-degree murder in the death of tourist Gary Dederichs of Denver and the assault of two other people, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Police and prosecutors say Davis approached the victims from behind and struck them on the head with a hammer.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert E. Morin called the doctors' report "complicated" and "unusual" in a hearing Wednesday, noting doctors want Davis to remain at the hospital for treatment and monitoring, an unusual recommendation, he said, because a patient charged with a crime is generally discharged after a declaration of competence.

Davis' attorneys disagreed with the hospital's findings, and said they plan to have him evaluated by their psychiatrists.

Two of Davis' brothers play in the National Football League, Vernon for the San Francisco 49ers and Vontae for the Miami Dolphins. All three grew up in Northwest Washington with their grandmother, the newspaper said.

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