Can Avondre Graham Face A Jury? Judge To Decide Tuesday - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Can Avondre Graham Face A Jury? Judge To Decide Tuesday

After being in jail for more than a year charged with in the stabbing death of his neighbor, Sharlotte McGill, a judge is about to decide whether Avondre Graham, 18, is competent to stand trial.

In court Monday, expert psychologists on both sides testified to Graham's mental disabilities, saying he is "mildly mentally retarded" with an IQ of roughly 60 – a number that hasn't changed much since he was 8 years old.

"Basically 99.5% of the population his age are brighter than he is," defense psychologist Dr. Bruce Fromkin told the court. "Even though Mr. Graham may be physically present in the courtroom, he's not mentally there, he's not going to understand much of what's transpiring."

Dr. Fromkin spent more than eight hours evaluating and testing Graham earlier this year, and his conclusion is that Graham is not competent to stand trial and would not be able to aid in his own defense because of his "severe intellectual disabilities."

However, the prosecution's psychologist, Dr. Nathan Henry, had a different opinion.

"He has adequate capacity to assist in his own defense," Dr. Henry told the court, based on his own evaluation with the 18-year-old murder suspect.

Dr. Henry also testified about Graham's history of depressive disorders, psychological problems, excessive use of alcohol and marijuana, suicidal thoughts and what he described as "emerging anti-social personality traits."

Graham's defense attorney, Tom Krzyminski, argued that the Washington Institute for Public Policy has deemed the testing tool used by Dr. Henry "substandard."

The decision now rests in the hands of Judge Maryann Moreno, who is scheduled to make her decision Tuesday morning.

If Graham is found competent, his trial will likely begin in the coming months. If he's not, he will likely be held either at the Spokane County Jail or Eastern State Hospital pending further testing and evaluation to see if he can become competent at a later time.

 

 

 

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