Man Accused of Dropping Daughter Off Bridge Determined Mentally Incompetent

Following two evaluations of John J.'s mental health, he has been found mentally incompetent. The evaluations took place to determine if he can be legally held responsible for the murder of his five year old daughter, who he dropped off a bridge into Tampa Bay. While the initial evaluations have ruled him incompetent mentally, the man's attorneys and the judge involved still need time to review these evaluations and determine how they will impact the man's future.

After hearing from attorneys on the matter, the judge set a follow up hearing for the middle of February. Currently, John J. is facing first-degree murder accusations. Due to the shocking nature of the crime, close evaluation of his mental health was initiated. In order to legally charge him with this crime, the court must determine whether or not he is mentally able to understand his actions and the case against him.

Follow-Up Hearing Set to Determine Official Mental State

Though the man was evaluated multiple times as mentally incompetent, that does not mean it will stand up in court. The judge has not yet ruled whether or not it is believed the evaluations negate the man's responsibility in the matter. The next court date will allow both sides to argue their opinion on how they believe the evaluations should impact how the man is prosecuted.

If the judge rules that he is truly mentally incompetent, he will likely be given mental treatment to restore his mental health or see if it was a result of the crime or an issue that spurred it. If he can't be ruled as competent, the case against him won't be able to proceed to the same extent. As of now, there have been no official charges made, as the court will need proof of his competence to even bring them forward.