A court hearing with a second expert set for July 19 could decide whether Gulf Breeze native William Brandon Aydelott will finally be found competent to stand trial for murder after a nearly two-and-half-year delay.
He was charged with the Christmas Eve murder of his mother, Holley-Navarre Middle school teacher Sharon Lynn Aydelott, back in 2013 and was later ruled incompetent to stand trial in the case.
But what does competent to stand trial actually mean?
“Competency means that the defendant is able to fully participate in the court procedure,” State Attorney Bill Eddins said. He is involved in the prosecution of Aydelott.
“There are several aspects to that,” Eddins said. “He’s got to understand what he’s charged with and the penalties, what could happen to him. He’s got to understand the role of the judge, of the prosecutor and the role of his own lawyer.”
Florida statute lists six criteria that experts evaluate before a defendant can be ruled competent to stand trial. Experts, meaning state-appointed psychiatrists or psychologists, evaluate whether the defendant can:
- Appreciate the charges or allegations
- Appreciate the range and nature of penalties
- Disclose the facts of the case to counsel
- Behave appropriately in the courtroom
- Testify relevantly
- Understand the adversarial nature of the legal process
Read the full article in the June 16 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe to your community newspaper.