After a court appointed forensic psychologist found that he was not currently competent to stand trial, a Parker County judge signed an order Monday afternoon finding capital murder defendant Jacob Evans incompetent to stand trial at present and committing him to a maximum security state mental hospital for a period not to exceed 120 days. Evans is accused of killing his mother and sister on October 4, 2012 in Aledo.
“We agreed to the incompetency finding and temporary commitment after reviewing the evaluation and conclusions reached by the court appointed psychologist,” said Assistant District Attorney Robert DuBoise. “It is important to point out that this finding does not mean that Mr. Evans will not face trial on the capital murder charges. It just means that he will not face trial until the professionals at the North Texas State Hospital can assist him in regaining competency.” Attorneys for Evans have filed a notice of intent to raise the insanity defense at trial. That motion was not addressed by the order entered Monday.
The appeal regarding the punishment available for Evans if he is convicted of the capital murder charge, which has prevented the case from going to trial to date, remains ongoing. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rendered an opinion last month ruling that defendants who are convicted of capital murder committed when they were 17 years of age face life in prison with parole consideration after they have served 40 years, as amended by the Texas legislature last year. After that ruling, the highest criminal court in Texas declined to hear Evans’ appeal, letting stand the ruling from the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth, which essentially held the same. Evans’ attorneys have filed a motion to reconsider the decision not to hear his appeal with the high court, which is pending currently.
415th District Court Judge Graham Quisenberry is presiding over the case in the trial court.