HOUSTON, Texas — An attorney for the man accused of killing a Texas deputy has filed a motion to stop his expedited transfer to a state mental hospital.
His attorney is accusing a Houston senator of using him as a “political pawn” in putting him on the fast-track for a transfer, reported KHOU television.
As reported by Breitbart Texas this past week, Shannon Miles, the man accused of executing Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth by unloading fifteen rounds into his head and back when at a gas station, will not stand trial until he is found competent to do so.
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.
One of the lawyers for Miles filed a motion on Friday contesting an expedited transfer of Miles to the mental health facility. The lawyer, Anthony Osso, said he was advised on Wednesday that Texas State Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) had “intervened in his client’s case and arranged for the expedited transfer of Shannon Miles to the state hospital thereby circumventing the normal channels and policies currently in place for the transfer of inmates from the Harris County jail to the state hospital.”
On Tuesday February 9, a hearing was held on his competency and the judge signed an order finding the man incompetent to stand trial. Mental health experts reported that Miles is not presently mentally competent to aid his criminal lawyers in his defense. An order was signed for the restoration of competency including transfer to a state mental health facility.
Miles is being sent to a state mental hospital for four months to regain his mental health. The defendant charged with capital murder will be tried once mental health experts and the judge are persuaded that he can legally stand trial.
As reported by Breitbart Texas this week, the state hospital in Vernon, Texas, is at maximum capacity and is not able to admit Miles at this time. The four month period was slated to begin when Miles got a bed at the hospital.
The Houston defense lawyer argued in his motion, “Said intervention was without justification and any expedited transfer would be in violation of Shannon Miles’ right to due process and equal protection under the law.” He said the senator did not have the knowledge of the time needed by defense counsel to gather additional mental health information to be submitted with the transfer.
Osso says Senator Whitmire said his intervention was out of concern for his safety for being housed in the Harris County jail; however, he urges Miles has been incarcerated in the jail since his arrest in late August and is in no danger.
A hearing on the motion is set for Monday, January 15 at noon.
After the judge issued the order finding Miles incompetent to stand trial, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office issued a response to the court’s ruling. It stated, “The Harris County Sheriff’s Office learned today that State District Judge Susan Brown committed Shannon Miles to a Vernon state mental hospital for 120 days. This individual was responsible for the killing of Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth. We are disappointed by the news, but remain hopeful that the State will restore Shannon Miles’ competency promptly so justice can be sought. It is a tragic reminder that we lost Deputy Goforth to an individual whose only apparent motive was that Darren wore the uniform of a law enforcement officer.”
Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2