FIRST ON KHQ.COM: Avondre Graham Competent To Stand Trial
by Kelsey Watts, KHQ Local News Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
KHQ.COM - A Spokane judge has decided that a man with an IQ of about 60 is competent to stand trial in a fatal stabbing.
Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno ruled Tuesday that 18-year-old Avondre Graham is capable of understanding court proceedings and helping his lawyers.
On Monday prosecutors urged Moreno to go ahead with the criminal case, while defense attorneys wanted her to set it aside.
Graham is charged with second-degree murder in the September 2012 stabbing of 55-year-old Sharlotte McGill as she walked her dog along a trail. Graham lived at the same apartment complex as McGill.
KHQ.COM - Judge Moreno will make a decision on Tuesday morning as to whether murder suspect Avondre Graham is competent to stand trial. In court on Monday two expert witnesses, both psychologists who evaluated Graham, had two different opinions.
One found he is competent, the other found he isn't. However they did agree on a few points; that Graham is "mildly mentally retarded" based on his IQ score of roughly 55-65 which hasn't changed much since he was evaluated at the age of 8.
Graham has been in jail since Sept. 13 of 2012.
TWEETS FROM KELSEY WHO WAS IN THE COURTROOM ON MONDAY:
TWEET FROM KELSEY: Judge Maryann Moreno wants time to gather her thoughts, a decision will not be made today. It's expected tomorrow morning.
TWEET FROM KELSEY: Defense: it's not just about #AvondreGraham understanding, it's about him being able to assist in his own defense.
TWEET FROM KELSEY: Prosecutor: the issue isn't whether this is a complex case, it's whether #AvondreGraham is competent to stand trial.
TWEET FROM KELSEY: Defense: #AvondreGraham's IQ hasn't changed since he was 8 years old, has hard time understanding concepts of murder trial.
TWEET FROM KELSEY: Defense attorney: the complexities of this case are "a lot to process for someone with an average IQ"
TWEET FROM KELSEY: No final witness, now closing arguments from both sides before it's in the hands of the judge
TWEET FROM KELSEY: Defense now cross-examining Dr. Henry about his opinion that murder suspect #AvondreGraham can stand trial.
TWEET FROM KELSEY: Dr. Henry: #AvondreGraham has history of depressive disorder, psychological problems & emerging anti-social personality traits
TWEET FROM KELSEY: Dr. Henry: "I believe Avondre Graham has adequate capacity to assist in his own defense." Conflicting opinions from today.
TWEET FROM KELSEY: A forensic psychologist from Eastern State Hospital is on the stand now in #AvondreGraham's competency hearing.
KHQ.COM - Avondre Graham is in court today for a competency hearing. He's accused of killing Sharlotte McGill.
McGill was murdered Thursday, May 3, while walking her dog, Lily, on Tuffy's trail, a makeshift trail near her apartment on South Riverton where she regularly walked.
While on the trail, Graham is suspected of jumping out of the bushes and repeatedly stabbed McGill, for no apparent reason, in her arms, chest, and forehead. Police confirmed the attack was random. McGill screamed and stumbled onto a nearby street. Several people nearby, including her daughter Billie McKinney, rushed to her aid.
McGill died shortly after on the way to the hospital.
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