D.C. Superior Court judge rules man charged with hammer attacks remains incompetent, schedules follow up hearing for December

A District man charged with a string of hammer attacks in April can remain in St. Elizabeths Hospital as doctors continue to work on his competency to stand trial, a D.C. Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday.

Judge Robert E. Morin, reading from a Sept. 20 letter from St. Elizabeths doctors, ruled that Michael Davis, 19, remained incompetent to stand trial. The doctors believe Davis could regain competency with additional therapy and medication, Morin said. A follow-up hearing was scheduled for Dec. 5.

Davis is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Gary Dederichs, 66, a Denver tourist. Davis was also charged with two counts of assault with intent to kill while armed for allegedly sneaking up on people in the Northwest neighborhood of Petwork and hitting them on the head with a hammer.

During a brief hearing Wednesday, Davis said “Good morning” to Morin as marshals escorted him into the courtroom to stand next to his attorneys from the District’s Public Defender Service.

Davis was admitted into the District’s psychiatric hospital in May, weeks after his arrest.

Davis comes from a family of prominent athletes. Two of his brothers play in the National Football League: Vernon Davis, a tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, and Vontae Davis, a cornerback with the Miami Dolphins. Like Michael Davis, they grew up in an Emerson Street rowhouse with their grandmother.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.

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