Defense attorneys say they are unable to communicate rationally with Shannon Miles

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – The man accused of shooting and killing a Harris County deputy was expected , but did not appear, in a downtown Houston courtroom Wednesday.

Shannon Miles, 31, is charged with capital murder in the death of Deputy Darren Goforth.  The motive for the shooting was revealed after a grand jury formally indicted Miles for capital murder last month.

Prosecutors say Miles targeted Goforth earlier this year simply because he was a member of law enforcement, but Miles' attorney says so far, the defense team has been unable to communicate rationally with Miles in jail.

The defense says Miles has a history of mental illness and they are trying to evaluate his mental competence.

"I see issues involving episodal psychosis is probably a big issue.  Bipolar disorder is probably going to be a major factor," attorney Anthony Osso said.

Miles was committed to mental hospitals in 2010 and after he attacked a man in Austin in 2012.

Judge Susan Brown postponed arraignment until January 13, 2016 in order to give the defense time to finish the assessment.