Defense Seeks to Reestablish Michael Davis As Incompetent for Trial

In the nine months since Michael Davis was found competent to stand trial, letters from Saint Elizabeths hospital show Davis continuing to confuse legal concepts with each other.

Now his attorneys are attempting to convince the court to halt trial proceedings, arguing that Davis can not participate fully in his defense and should perhaps be again ruled mentally incompetent.

Virtually all of the Hospital letters indicate that Mr. Davis required ‘education’ on one or more areas,” a motion presented to the court by Davis’ attorneys Friday alleges.

Davis is charged with two counts of assault and one count of first-degree murder in connection with five hammer assaults that occurred in Petworth during April 2012. Prosecutors allege that one of those assaults killed 66-year-old Denver nurse Gary Dederichs.

Dederichs was found dead by police in the 800 block of Emerson Street, Northwest on April 24, 2012 with blunt force head trauma.

Davis was arrested two weeks later and initially found incompetent by the Department of Mental Health. In that first report, people close to Davis reported that he had been treated for mental health disorders, including schizophrenia.

Attorney Dana Page said on Friday that Davis is “unable [to] rationally work with us as it relates to him.” Page requested Friday that Davis be screened again to determine whether he has the ability to apply legal concepts he has learned to the specifics of his own case.

Because additional competency screening would require Davis to talk about the specifics of his case with government employees, Judge Robert Morin characterized the motion as “a big-time move.”

In essence, you’re waiving your client’s Fifth Amendment rights not to have inquiry on these matters,” Judge Morin said.

Page responded that Davis’s defense is aware of the impact of their decision could have on the future of the case, including its impact on a potential insanity defense for Davis.

Judge Robert Morin deferred making a decision Friday whether to order additional competency exams for Davis. A status hearing is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on March 28.

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