Judge Orders Additional Mental Observation Screening After Defendant Found Competent to Stand Trial

A DC Superior Court judge ordered an updated competency evaluation for a defendant deemed competent after over two years of treatment.

Steven Jones was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in November 2017. He entered a guilty plea less than two months later. But the follwing May, a psychological screening was ordered and Jones was found mentally incompetent. He was taken to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, DC’s psychiatric institution, for treatment, and was found competent in July. He currently remains at the hospital.

The defense is arguing for the defendant’s medication to no longer be forcibly administered. The judge authorized the medication to be given this way after it was discovered that Jones was pretending to take his medication.  

However, he was found competent while not taking the medicine, prompting defense attorney Brandi Harden to question the medication’s necessity. 

Judge Danya Dayson scheduled a hearing for Jan. 28, 2021, so that an expert can inform the court on a necessary timeline for Jones to take the medication and eventually go off of it while still maintaining competency.

This report will need to be completed not later than Dec. 7.

Jones is currently scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 16.