Sniper John Allen Muhammad is not competent to stand trial, say his attorneys. The Washington Post reports that the filed a psychiatric evaluation that says the defendant should not be allowed to defend himself during his murder trial because he is “psychotic, delusional” and “paranoid.” The report was the first public disclosure of a mental health expert’s assessment of the sniper’s mind . Muhammad is scheduled to appear in court today to explain why he wants to fire his attorneys and defend himself during his Maryland trial, which is scheduled to start May 1.
A judge could rule on the competency motion today or may choose to have Muhammad examined by an independent psychiatrist before deciding whether he’s fit to stand trial. Muhammad, 45, and co-defendant Lee Boyd Malvo, 21, were each convicted of one killing in separate trials in Virginia in 2003. Muhammad has been sentenced to death and Malvo to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Maryland prosecutors say a second set of convictions would give relatives of the people shot in Montgomery a taste of justice and insure the defendants’ uninterrupted incarceration in case the Virginia convictions were overturned.