Austin murder, shooting spree suspect found competent to stand trial

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Charles Curry (Austin Police Department Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Tuesday, Charles Curry, the former Texas legislative staff member accused in a July 2018 murder and south Austin shooting spree, was found by a Travis County judge to be competent to stand trial.

Curry is accused of murder in the death of his neighbor, Christian Meroney, and then a shooting spree in south Austin, where two people were hurt, including a woman who was shot in the head.

In the Tuesday virtual hearing, it was explained that a doctor had evaluated Curry, saying that he’d shown progress since his previous mental health evaluation. The doctor behind the evaluation has found Curry competent to stand trial, a finding that a Travis County District Attorney says the county will agree with.

When asked whether or not he felt competent to stand trial, Curry responded, “I do, sir.” Curry’s lawyer, David Gonzalez, also agreed.

Back in September, Curry was ruled to be incompetent to stand trial after a July mental health evaluation, however the new ruling of competency is based on findings from a second doctor’s report.

The September finding of incompetency halted Curry’s criminal trial, as he was sent to the hospital for treatment and evaluation for 120 days. Based on the new ruling, the trial will be allowed to continue.

In the Tuesday hearing, the judge explained that he would sign orders restoring competency and that Curry’s cases would be set back into the 390th court for a July 1 date.

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