Doctors: Man charged in hammer attacks still not competent to stand trial

The 19-year-old District man charged in a string of hammer attacks in April remains incompotent to stand trial, doctors at St. Elizabeths Hospital wrote in a memo last week.

Prosecutors and attorneys for Michael W. Davis are scheduled to appear in D.C. Superior Court Wednesday to discuss the doctors’ findings.

Davis is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Gary Dederich, 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 his Petworth neighborhood in Northwest and hitting them on the head with a hammer.

Davis was admitted to St. Elizabeths in May. According to the latest report, doctors said Davis was unable to correctly state his charges and told doctors he was “assault while armed” and “assault to kill.”

He also told doctors he expected to be found not guilty or could get probation. The doctors said Davis remains unable to help his attorneys with his case. The doctors also said Davis understood that one of his plea options was not guilty by reason of insanity, but added that Davis was not clear as to what that meant.

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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