Judge: Triple-Homicide Suspect is Competent for Trial

September 9, 2013

UPDATE:

A Madison County judge ruled Monday that triple homicide suspect Rashad Riddick is competent to stand trial.

The decision comes more than two-and-a-half years after the deaths of James Clark Jackson, his wife Karen Jackson and her daughter Chante Davis.

The 26-year-old suspect was arrested in February 2011 and faces capital murder charges. Since his arrest, Riddick has been unpredictable in the courtroom. He has pushed to represent himself in the case, and even attacked one of his defense attorneys during a hearing last year.

Shortly after that incident, Riddick spent time in psychiatric treatment facilities to undergo evaluation.

At Monday's hearing, Riddick appeared calm yet disinterested at times. His hair and beard have grown out significantly, and he was flanked by four guards during the hearing -- two from the sheriff's office and two from the Central Virginia Regional Jail.

Doctors testified at a hearing in August regarding Riddick's mental stability. Both prosecutors and the defense presented witnesses.

In his ruling, Judge Daniel R. Bouton said Riddick has no documented history of mental illness, despite his previous courtroom behavior. Bouton said it's not whether Riddick has historically cooperated with his attorneys, rather it's whether he has the ability to cooperate.

Family members of the Jacksons attended the hearing, some visibly relieved that the case can move forward.

Both the commonwealth's attorney George Webb and defense lawyers John Flood and Steve Rosenfield declined comment on the pending court case.

Lawyers now have a little more than a month to review all of the paperwork that's been sitting idle, pending the judge's ruling in the competency hearing. Riddick is due back in court for an arraignment on Oct. 21.

However, at that hearing, counsel and the judge will also discuss Riddick's previous request for self-representation and some 20 motions that have been placed on hold.


ORIGINAL STORY:

A judge has decided a triple-homicide suspect in Madison County is competent to stand trial.

Rashad Riddick is accused in the 2011 deaths of James Jackson, his wife Karen and her daughter Chante Davis.

Last year, a judge ruled Riddick was incompetent to stand trial.

Doctors at a hospital told a judge this summer that after treatments, he's now mentally stable. They testified at a hearing in August.

The judge in the case had deferred making a decision on Riddick's competency at the August hearing , but did make a final ruling on Monday, Sept. 9.


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