Ex-legislative staffer accused of murder, shooting spree declared incompetent for trial

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A former Texas legislative staff member accused of killing a man before going on a shooting spree last year has been found incompetent to stand trial, according to the Austin District Attorney’s office.

The court ordered Charles Curry to undergo a mental health evaluation in July. Curry is accused of shooting and killing his neighbor Christian Meroney near the Post South Lamar apartments in July 2018. Two days later, police say Curry went on a shooting spree in south Austin, where two people were hurt including a woman who was shot in the head.

As part of the incompetency declaration, Curry will be sent to the hospital for treatment and evaluation for 120 days. This means his criminal trial is halted but could resume if “competency is restored,” according to Assistant District Attorney Joe Frederick.

Frederick explained incompetency is declared if a doctor’s evaluation shows a defendant is “not able to appreciate the charges or assist in the defense” at the time of the trial. It is different from an insanity defense.

Curry was fired from State Sen. Joan Huffman’s office in May 2017, and email records from the office show he returned in March 2018 and acted “erratic and sometimes demanding.”

He is currently listed as being in custody at the Travis County Jail, facing one murder and four aggravated assault with deadly weapon charges.

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