The man charged with murdering three people in Madison County last year will enter a state mental hospital for evaluation in June. This comes after Rashad Riddick refused to cooperate during his first competency hearing Wednesday afternoon.
The defense, prosecution, and judge appeared frustrated that this case cannot move forward. But Madison County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Bouton says before a trial can begin, it's the court's duty to determine if Riddick is mentally fit to stand trial.
A grand jury indicted Riddick in March for the February 2011 deaths of his uncle, aunt, and her daughter. All three were found shot to death in their Madison County home. He faces six different charges, including three counts of capital murder, but before any progress can be made in the case, the judge and the commonwealth's attorney want to ensure Riddick's has the competency to stand trial.
The court initially retained two mental health professionals in April, both familiar with the case, to determine Riddick's competency. But both failed to render a professional opinion on the matter because they say Riddick refused to cooperate.
Riddick also refused to answer the judge's questions in court Wednesday afternoon, leaving Bouton with little choice but to order the defendant undergo further mental evaluation at Central State Hospital.
That decision also comes after Riddick previously made several "paranoid" statements before the court, some alleging that bailiffs were robots, and that August's earthquake was a message to him from God. Those statements, coupled with Riddick's lack of cooperation, and his insistence that he represent himself, led the judge to insist on further evaluation to ensure the trial is "fair, equitable, and constitutional."
Riddick said in court he believes competency has nothing to do with this case. The judge responded, "It has everything to do with it."
Riddick will spend up to 30 days at Central State Hospital, and appear back in court August 1 for his next competency hearing.
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Ed joined the NBC29 news team in May, 2011. A Charlotte, NC, native, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and political science.Full Story
Ed joined the NBC29 news team in May, 2011. A Charlotte, NC, native, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and political science. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story
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