The Washington Post

Hospital says District man charged in April hammer killing and assaults remains incompetent for trial

The 19-year-old District man charged with a series of April hammer attacks remains incompetent for trial, doctors at St. Elizabeths Hospital wrote in a Thursday letter to a District judge.

Michael W. Davis was ordered to the District’s psychiatric hospital in May for observation after he was arrested in a series of attacks that left one man dead and two others injured.

Davis was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Gary Dederichs, 66, a tourist visiting from Denver. He 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.

According to the doctors’ letter, Davis had some “factional and rational” understanding of the charges against him but remained “confused about several key components essential to attaining competency to proceed.”

Davis lacked the “understanding” of plea bargaining and was not able to apply the concept to his case, the doctors wrote. But the doctors also said they believe Davis will attain competency or make substantial progress with additional time at the hospital.

Davis has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and other mental challenges. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday before D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert E. Morin.

Davis is is the younger brother of professional football players Vernon and Vontae Davis.

Read more: The Post’s crime coverage

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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