Defendant formally declared incompetent to stand trial in Santa Fe shooting

A court has formally found the defendant incompetent to stand trial in the Santa Fe High School shooting.

According to the court, he “does not have the sufficient present ability to consult with his attorney with a reasonable degree of rational understanding; or a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him."

The court says he will now be committed to a facility designated by the Department of State Health Services for a period not to exceed 120 days from the day of admission for further examination and treatment toward the specidfic objective of attaining competency to stand trial.

Earlier this month, the Galveston County District Attorney said three experts who examined the defendant’s competency to stand trial found that he was currently incompetent to stand trial.

“Given that there is no evidence with which we can further challenge this issue, we do not intend to object to the Court entering a finding that the defendant is currently incompetent to stand trial,” Criminal District Attorney Jack Roady said in a statement earlier this month.

Roady says whether a defendant is currently competent to stand trial in a case is different than whether he was insane at the time of the offense. He says their focus continues to be getting the case tried to obtain justice for the victims, and their next step is to have the defendant restored to competency.