HARVEY – A man who was arrested after the shooting death of a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy last summer, has been ruled competent to stand trial, The New Orleans Advocate reports.
Judge Conn Regan, of the 14th Judicial District Court in Gretna, ruled Wednesday that 20-year-old Jerman Neveaux is competent to stand trial after his attorney argued that a report indicating his client’s exposure to lead as a child caused brain damage to prevent him from being able to assist in his own defense.
Regan ruled that the evidence or testimony of the report outweighs the testimony of two appointed doctors who examined Neveaux in May and determine that he is mentally fit.
The report stated that during Wednesday’s hearing, Gayle Duskin, a linguistics expert, reviewed the records of a 2013 exam that Neveaux underwent to determine whether he suffered lead poisoning as a child while living in the St. Thomas housing development.
Duskin argued that Neveaux would not be capable to help defend himself in court.
Judge Regan, however, stated that both Dr. Raphael Salcedo and Dr. Robert Richoux examined him earlier in the year and found him competent. After the hearing defense attorney Martin Regan said that he has not decided yet on if he will appeal Wednesday’s ruling. He was given November 6 to decide.
Neveaux has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder. If a jury finds that he did not know right from wrong, he would be sent to the state mental hospital.
Neveaux is accused of shooting JPSO Deputy David Michael Jr. on June 22, 2016 after he was stopped for questioning while walking near Manhattan Boulevard. Michael was shot three times before Neveaux fled to a nearby home where he was beaten by deputies.