HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Before court proceedings can move on for Shannon Miles, the man accused of murdering Deputy Darren Goforth on August 28, officials have to make sure he is competent to stand trial.
Miles was not brought out into the courtroom today during his scheduled appearance on Wednesday.
The reason was the uncertainty surrounding his mental state.
The arraignment is being pushed back as Miles continues to undergo a lengthy competency evaluation.
His attorney Anthony Osso said Miles has previously been committed in 2010 and 2012, and that so far, no one on his legal team has been able to have a proper conversation with him.
“I've made several attempts to discuss the case and have not been able to communicate with him on a rational basis. One of the problems you have is when a person has previously been found incompetent to stand trial, and they spend time at Rusk state hospital,” said Osso.
Osso said the judge is not comfortable arraigning someone when competency results are still pending. The results of Miles' evaluation should be in by his next scheduled appearance on January 13th, 2016.
If he's deemed incompetent the state will have a chance to call its own doctor to make an assessment.
The evaluation can go one of two ways -- either Miles can be found incompetent with a chance of regaining competency and move on with the trial or it can go the other way, which Miles said is less likely.
“If you're found incompetent with no likelihood of gaining competency then that creates tremendous problems for the state because as you all know, you cannot execute incompetent people in the United States,” said Osso.
Miles is accused of shooting Deputy Goforth in what the sheriff described as a cold-blooded execution.
A series of unusual incidents have followed since, including a mistress admitting her affair with Goforth, an investigator admitting to an affair with a witness, and a judge recusing herself for unknown reasons,
Miles has been indicted on a capital murder charge, but Miles' attorney plans on arguing that the capital murder charge should be downgraded to just murder, which would take the death penalty off the table.
Osso is arguing that Deputy Goforth was not at the gas station in an official capacity because he was meeting his mistress.