A Howard County judge ruled Friday the Columbia teen charged with stabbing and murdering another teen in a Columbia apartment complex last July is competent to stand trial, according to T. Wayne Kirwan, spokesman for the Howard County State's Attorney's Office.

The defendant, Xavier Trevon Bates, 19, of Columbia, faces first- and second-degree murder and assault charges for the stabbing death of Christian Lendell Hall, 17, of Columbia.

At a motions hearing on Friday, Aug. 17, Bates' defense attorney, Wole Falodun, moved to have Bates declared not competent for trial after a clinical psychiatrist who evaluated him last May said he exhibited symptoms consistent with patients who have a severe mental disorder, Kirwan said.

The psychiatrist for the prosecution, Dr. Ronald Francis Means of Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center, testified that Bates had attempted to portray symptoms of schizophrenia and psychosis in a separate evaluation that same month.


Submit a Letter to the Editor for the Laurel Leader, Columbia Flier and Howard County Times

Kirwan said the psychiatrist for the defense withdrew his opinion before Friday's proceedings after "reviewing collateral sources."

Judge Richard Bernhardt ruled that Means' testimony and the prosecution's arguments proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Bates was competent to stand trial.

Bates' criminal trial is scheduled for Oct. 3.

On July 27, 2011, police responded to the Sierra Woods apartment complex, located in the 8700 block of Airybrink Lane, at 10 p.m. for a reported stabbing. Police said responding officers found Hall covered in blood on the third floor landing of an apartment building.

Police said Hall had suffered multiple stab wounds. He was escorted by officers to Howard County General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:47 p.m.

While at the hospital, officers located Bates, who was in the emergency room receiving treatment for a stab wound to the hand, and arrested him, police said.

Police said the investigation revealed that Bates and Hall were involved in a fight earlier that day, and that Bates had visited Hall's residence to continue the fight.

Police said Bates admitted to chasing Hall through his residence, threatening him by saying "I'm going to kill you," and stabbing Hall in the side of the chest.