HOUSTON, Texas – Lawyers for the suspect in the execution of Harris County, Texas, deputy Darren Goforth filed a motion on Monday saying their client is incompetent to stand trial.
Lawyers for defendant Shannon J. Miles filed the motion (attached below) raising the issue saying they are unable to communicate effectively with their client in order to prepare his defense.
Miles’ lawyers, Anthony Osso and Charles Brown from Houston, say they have been to the Harris county jail on multiple occasions but Miles does not have a sufficient present ability to consult with them with “a reasonable degree of rational understanding.” They urge that Miles lacks both a rational and factual understanding of the proceedings against him. They allege that Miles is incompetent to stand trial as defined under Texas criminal procedural law.
As evidence, Osso and Brown assert that Miles has a history of mental illness and has been previously found incompetent to stand trial in an unrelated criminal proceeding. Breitbart Texas reported in late August that Miles had been found incompetent to stand trial in a 2012 assault case in Austin, Texas. The charges were later dropped.
Miles’ defense lawyers also point to a competency report of defense counsel’s psychiatric expert dated December 20 detailing the findings of an extensive evaluation. They say that Miles has been diagnosed as suffering with schizophrenia and “the report concludes with a reasonable degree of medical probability that the defendant is presently incompetent to stand trial.”
Miles has been charged with the capital murder of a police officer, a charge that could result in the death penalty, or life in prison without parole.
Breitbart Texas reported from the scene of the murder and interviewed eyewitnesses in Houston shortly after Deputy Goforth was shot execution-style at a gas station. The officer was in uniform and was at a Chevron station in northwest Houston to put gas in his patrol car.
When Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson read the charges against Miles in court, she said the deputy had been shot 15 times, as reported by Breitbart Texas.
Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2