Defense to Have Their Own Expert Evaluate Murder Defendant’s Competency

At the defense’s request, a DC Superior Court judge extended a murder defendant’s stay at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, DC’s psychiatric institution.

Jaykell Mason is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly shooting 29-year-old Terence Dantzler on Feb. 13, 2020, on the 700 block of 8 Street, NW. The 21-year-old defendant is also charged with assault on a police officer while armed.

A report from the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) determined that Mason is competent to stand trial.

But, defense attorney Roderick Thompson objected to the DBH’s findings and requested a continuance, so he can have his own expert independently evaluate Mason’s competency. 

Thompson asked Judge Yvonne Williams to keep Mason at St. Elizabeth’s in the meantime.

Judge Williams granted the request over the prosecution’s objection.

The next mental observation hearing is scheduled for April 2. 

Sarah Gebrengus wrote this article.