Psychiatric exam ordered in killings

The Baltimore Sun

A Howard County man accused of killing two people last year cannot be held criminally responsible for their deaths because he is mentally incompetent, his attorney told a Howard County judge during a hearing yesterday.

Circuit Judge Diane O. Leasure ordered the accused, Charles David Richardson IV, to undergo a psychiatric screening. If any basis for the claim is found, Richardson will be sent to a forensic psychiatric hospital for further evaluation, according to his attorney, Mark Van Bavel.

Richardson, 24, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and other charges in two shootings in Columbia last spring. Convenience store clerk Alevtina Zhilina was killed during a robbery in April 2007, police said, and Trae Davon Allen was shot several times in the head last May.

Jury selection in Richardson's trial is to begin May 22.

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