A Douglas County jury will decide if the teenager charged with killing his great-grandmother with a sword is competent enough to stand trial.
Gevin Allen Prince, 16, is accused of killing 77-year-old Mary Joan Gibbs in August 2011 when the two got into an argument over video games.
Prince has gone through two mental evaluations since then. The psychologists for the Georgia Department of Human Services first found him competent to stand trial. But on June 20, a local psychologist disputed the state’s findings.
“The legal standard for competency to stand trial is whether the person is unable to understand the charges against him or mentally incapable of helping his lawyers,” WSB Legal Expert Ron Carlson says.
Family members have testified that Prince suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. The Mayo Clinic defines the disease as a developmental disorder that affects a person's ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others.
“There is some mental history that might help the defense,” Carlson said. “That does not often result in avoiding a trial. That is because the defendant has the burden of showing his condition is so severe that he cannot help in his own defense.”
If Prince is found competent, the trial could be start as early as Nov. 5. The teenager is being charged as an adult.
“He’s charged as an adult because the Georgia Legislature has made it clear someone 15 years of age who commits this crime is charged as an adult,” Douglas Co. District Attorney David McDade said last year.
He faces three additional charges of aggravated assault for stabbing his grandmother during the tirade. Prince also, with his sword, chased two juveniles who tried to stop the attack.
Since his arrest, Prince has been locked up in an area away from other prisoners at the Douglas County Jail.