Judge issues gag order in Santa Fe High case

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter
KPRC

A shackled Dimitrios Pagourtzis is walked into a courtroom in Galveston County, Texas, on Feb. 25, 2019.

SANTA FE, Texas - KPRC 2 Investigates has learned a gag order was issued in the case involving charged Santa Fe High gunman, Dimitrios Pagourtzis.

This development comes as the court consider the issue of Pagourtzis' competency.

In August, Pagourtzis' defense team asked the court to have their client's competency evaluated by an independent expert. In that motion, defense attorney Nicholas Poehl stated he does not believe Pagourtzis is competent to stand trial. Earlier in the year, court documents stated the defense will also likely employ an insanity defense at trial.

Prosecutors confirmed to KPRC the independent evaluation is complete, but could not comment on the results because of the impending gag order. Poehl said the gag order also prevents him from commenting. 

Prosecutors will now have their experts conduct their own evaluation of Pagourtzis' competency, which is expected to take 30 days to complete. After that evaluation is complete it is unknown how the case will move forward. Poehl has previously said there is the possibility a competency trial will be needed to determine whether Pagourtzis is competent to stand trial on capital murder charges.

The case is scheduled to go to trial after the first of the year in Fort Bend County. It is not yet known whether the issue of Pagourtzis' competency will impact that timetable. 

"Both the defense expert and a neutral court-appointed expert have submitted competency reports to the court," Poehl said. "Now the State is seeking to have their own expert examine Dimitrios and evaluate his competency. The Court today issued a gag order as to the results of the competency examinations, so we will have no further comment at this time."

Pagourtzis is also facing federal charges relating to the May 2018 murders of eight students and two educators. In federal court Pagourtzis is still considered a minor, therefore any information regarding those cases remains under seal. 

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