The teen accused of murdering 10 people and injured 13 others at Santa Fe High School in May 2018 will likely be declared incompetent to stand trial by three separate psychiatric experts, his defense attorney, Nicholas Poehl, said on Monday, Nov. 4.
Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who was 17 years old at the time of the shooting, was charged with capital murder. If convicted, he will not face the death penalty, KTRK-TV reported.
Poehl said his client was evaluated by three experts, one hired by the defense, one neutral expert appointed by state District Judge John Ellisor, and one appointed by the Galveston County district attorney. These evaluations came after Poehl filed a motion in August requesting an independent psychiatrist evaluate Pagourtzis to determine whether he is competent to stand trial, according to The Associated Press.
After all three experts reached the conclusion that Pagourtzis was not competent to stand trial, he will eventually be transferred to a state mental health facility where he will be treated and evaluated for a period of four to six months.
“The state’s expert came back and agreed that he was not competent,” Poehl said. “The state agreed to not contest that anymore.”
The capital murder trial against Pagourtzis was scheduled to begin in Fort Bend County in February. However, Monday’s announcement will put it on hold.
The delay is a blow to victim’s families who wanted this over once and for all. They can’t move forward until this long-awaited trial begins and ultimately comes to an end, KYTX reported.
“We’re all frustrated. Some are angry. Some are upset. Some are crying. It’s just a lot of different emotions happening at the same time,” Sonia Lopez a mother of one of the surviving teens, said. “It’s disappointing because all we want is justice for what he did to our kids, our teachers, and our community.”