Judge Declares Mistrial in the Xavier Whitehead Case After He Is Found Not Competent

The judge in the murder case of Xavier Whitehead declared a mistrial on Wednesday, the second day of his trial. He was determined to be not competent to participate in his defense. The court scheduled another trial for May 4, 2020.

Signs of trouble emerged from pretty much the get-go of the trial. Whitehead, who is charged with the murders of three people, refused to speak to the judge during preliminary hearings, and balked at attending jury selection.

The defense said Tuesday that Whitehead was able to participate in his own defense up to this point, and suggested the problem was a head injury.

A guard told the court Tuesday that they were transporting him Monday, and found him on the floor of the van. He didn’t respond at first, but they got him up, and wheeled him to a cell, said the guard.

Psychologist Dr. Kristina Disney, who evaluated the defendant Tuesday night, testified Wednesday when the jury wasn’t in the room. She said that Whitehead felt “hopeless,” and very depressed. In her opinion, he was not competent to aid his defense.

Whitehead is charged in the murders of Derek Archie, 31, Haley Stone, 20, and Xavier Greene, 28. Prosecutors said he killed them at a Hillsborough County home in 2018, and set fire to the residence. In opening statements on Tuesday, the state said he was caught on surveillance footage carrying a red gas can to the crime scene. Whitehead tried to get another person to say it wasn’t him on the video, the prosecution said.

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