Defense wants competency hearing for charged Santa Fe gunman

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

SANTA FE, Texas - Defense attorneys for the teen charged with murdering classmates and educators at Santa Fe High School are asking the court to evaluate their client’s competency to stand trial.

Motions filed by his defense team asked the judge to hold a hearing to determine whether Dimitrios Pagourtzis is competent to stand trial.

“Counsel has reason to believe that Defendant may be incompetent to stand trial in that the defendant may not have sufficient present ability to consult with counsel, with a reasonable degree of rational understanding, or a rational and factual understanding of the proceedings against defendant,” court documents read.

Defense attorney Nicholas Poehl is also asking the judge to have Pagourtzis evaluated by an independent psychiatrist. Pagaourtzis’ attorneys have already had their client undergo a battery of tests to determine his competency.

Court documents filed earlier this year indicate Pagourtzis’ attorneys are planning an insanity defense if the case goes to trial.

Pagourtzis’ attorneys declined to comment beyond what is in their motions except for a brief written statement.

“His mental state has deteriorated badly, making the motions necessary at this time,” the statement read.

Pagourtzis has remained in the Galveston County Jail since the May 2018 massacre. He also faces federal charges related to the incident.

Galveston County prosecutors declined to comment on the matter.

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