xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Judge orders more evaluation before deciding if Prince is competent to stand trial

Further psychological evaluation is needed before a Harford County judge can determine if Radee Prince, the man accused of killing three people and injuring two others at Advanced Granite Solutions in Edgewood in October 2017, is competent to stand trial in the case.

Prince, 39, of Elkton, made brief court appearances Monday and Tuesday in Harford County Circuit Court for motions hearings.

Advertisement

The first matter that must be addressed in the case against Prince — he’s charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, use of a felony in a violent crime and illegal possession of a regulated firearm — is whether he’s mentally competent to stand trial, Judge Yolanda Curtin said during Monday’s hearing.

Prince’s competency will determine whether he is able to enter a plea of not criminally responsible, Deputy District Public Defender John Janowich said.

Advertisement

Radee L. Prince, the 37-year-old suspect in a quintuple shooting in Harford County and another shooting in Delaware on Wednesday, has a long criminal history and a record of workplace violence.

Janowich told Curtin that last week the doctor performing the competency evaluation, Dr. Kim Witczak, said she intended to find Prince not competent, but on Friday evening he received an email saying that she was finding him competent.

“I was very surprised when I received that contradictory information Friday evening,” Janowich said.

Curtin and Janowich were provided this week with a copy of Witczak’s report, which was shared with Assistant State’s Attorney H. Scott Lewis, who is prosecuting the case, Tuesday morning.

Because of Witczak’s reversal, Janowich said he’s concerned about her finding Prince competent beyond a reasonable doubt, and asked that he be evaluated at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center and by the public defender’s doctors.

Lewis argued that Prince was deemed competent to stand trial in Delaware.

Curtin said she’s concerned about the competency finding.

“While it’s clear to the court Mr. Prince has been able to engage in conversations with Dr. Witczak and provide a very detailed history of his life and things relevant to a determination of competency,” Curtin said, “the court is concerned with the late page of the report” in which Witczak discusses whether Prince can maintain competency.

“I can’t make a finding today beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Prince is competent to stand trial,” she said.

Prince will be ordered to undergo further evaluations at Perkins, Curtin said.

Janowich said he is scheduled to be evaluated on Feb. 9 and 16.

Curtin told Janowich that the 120 days for a speedy trial could not be met with the delay in the competency finding.

The defense has also filed a motion for a change of venue in the case, arguing that “the impending trial and the events surrounding this incident have been the subject of numerous inflammatory and prejudicial reports in print, television, radio and Internet and social media.”

Advertisement

They came from three continents to make their livelihoods in Maryland.

Public reaction has been “uniformly derogatory” against Prince and that comments accompanying media reports show Prince “has been the subject of widespread public hatred and vilification, notwithstanding that no trial has yet occurred,” according to court records, which also indicate state prosecutors are seeking a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

In his response, Lewis wrote that “it is unlikely that any potential juror or jurisdiction in the State of Maryland has not heard of the allegations against the defendant” nor had Prince failed to show he would be prejudiced by pre-trial publicity.

Also to be considered by the judge is a motion by the defense to exclude multiple autopsy and crime scene photographs of what is essentially the same thing, according to court filings. The state responded that crime scene photos are relevant to the nature and extent of the injuries to the victims.

Further hearing and court dates will be determined once the competency evaluations are complete, Curtin said.

Prince is accused of opening fire on some of his co-workers at Advanced Granite Solutions in the Emmorton Business Park on Oct. 17, 2017. Three people died and two others were injured in the incident.

The shooting set off a daylong manhunt in Harford County and also in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Prince was arrested in Newark, Del.

Police said that prior to his arrest, he shot a sixth person, a man he had worked with in Delaware. In May, a jury in Wilmington found him guilty of attempted manslaughter, reckless endangerment, carrying a concealed weapon and other charges relating to that shooting.

Prince had faced attempted murder charges, but the jury convicted him of the lesser attempted manslaughter charge. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

He was extradited to Harford County on Nov. 15 to face the charges related to the Advanced Granite shootings.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement