Judge: Hospital slaying defendant incompetent to stand trial

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee man has been deemed incompetent to stand trial in his second-degree murder case.

Media reports a judge ruled Friday that 39-year-old Leviticus Avery will be moved from Hamilton County Jail and hospitalized after two court-approved doctors determined he couldn’t understand the criminal proceedings against him.

Avery is charged in the 2015 death of 38-year-old Kevin Green. Chattanooga police say Avery hit Green in the head with a chair leg at Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute in Chattanooga.

Defense attorney Steven Moore says Avery has been hospitalized at Moccasin Bend at least 24 times since the mid-1990s. He says an eventual ruling of competence to stand trial does not mean Avery was competent at the time of the assault.

State doctors will report Nov. 30.

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