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Defense Attorney Weighs In On Validity Of "Concussion Defense" - abc27 WHTM

Defense Attorney Weighs In On Validity Of "Concussion Defense"

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Lynchburg, VA - The results of a competency and sanity evaluation for the minor prosecutors have charged in connection to the shooting death of 20 year old Lawrence Giusto are just days away.

His attorney called for that evaluation because of the five concussions he says his client received while playing football.

According to criminal defense attorneys, there are two questions to be asked here: Is this 16 year old competent to stand trial and was this 16 year old competent at the time the crime was committed?  Those questions will determine his fate.

The 16 year old’s defense attorney, Andrew Childress, requested the evaluation to determine his client's competency, siting five serious head traumas from playing football left him with impaired judgment.

Lynchburg Criminal Defense Attorney Philip Baker said in order for the evaluation to even have occurred, the defense must have evidence of some mental health condition.

The 16 year old can either be ruled incompetent to stand trial, or that he was incompetent at the time of the offense.  Either way, the evaluation's impact is most important, not to determine guilt or innocence, but rather, if found guilty, the sentence.

"When you're talking about someone who's been convicted of some sort of crime, somebody's mental health condition be it again something like depression, be it some other form of mental health defect or deficiency or problem, may affect a judge's consideration or a jury's consideration in sentencing” said Baker.

The judge has allowed 96 hours for the completion of the evaluation.  As a result, the preliminary hearing for the alleged 16 year old driver is now scheduled for July 28th.

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