Houston Co. Judge orders 'mental evaluation' for defendant in Poss murder

Case continued for duo accused of Poss murder

A lawyer for one of the two teens accused of killing Perry teen Samuel Poss wants his client to be mentally evaluated before trial.

Poss was killed in October of 2016. His body was find nearly a week later. On the same day, Brandon Warren and Dakota White were arrested for murder.

Warren entered a not guilty plea in January of 2017. A Houston County Superior Court judge entered a not guilty plea for White in February.

The two were scheduled to be in court early next week for a motions hearing, but White's attorney, Angie Coggins, asked for a delay.

On Friday, Judge Edward Lukemire granted the request.

Several new motions in this case were also filed this month.

Brandon Warren's attorney, Jeffrey L. Grube, asked the court in a motion, “To examine the above-named Defendant [Warren] to determine the following.”

It asks the court to order a mental evaluation of Warren’s “Competency to stand trial,” and “Degree of criminal responsibility or mental competence at the time of the act,” according to the motion document.

The motion asks the court, in part, to determine, "Whether or not the presence of a delusional compulsion overmastered his will to resist committing the alleged act." 

The motion was filed on June 13, 2017. Judge Lukemire ordered the evaluation to proceed on the same day.

Under his signature on the order, District Attorney George Hartwig wrote, “Do not oppose.”

Also on June 13th, Hartwig filed a motion to sever the case, meaning White and Warren would be tried separately.

His motion says White gave a statement after being arrested that could be used against Warren. It says that the state is unable to use the statement if the case remains linked.

In a motion filed June 14th, Hartwig also asked for the two to provide alibis if they have any, before the case goes to trial.

On June 14th there also was a Notice of Discovery filed from the District Attorney’s office. The documentation notified the defendants that discovery evidence was available and included a witness list of more than 80 people.

In Coggins’ motion for a continuance, she says the discovery information was given on a 3 terabyte hard drive and CD containing phone records. She asked the court for more time to review the material. Coggins’ motion, filed June 19th, says the state did not oppose the request. Lukemire approved the continuance.

The Superior Court Clerk's office says the case has been continued till October of 2017 at the earliest.

There was not a date given for when Warren's mental state evaluation would take place. A call to Grube’s office for more information was not returned.

By phone, the victim's mother, Nicole Poss, told 13WMAZ's Jacob Reynolds, "This is really hard on us" and that they're anxious for the case to be settled.

She said, "We'd love it if they'd just plead guilty and get it over with."

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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