PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A Portsmouth judge ruled Wednesday that a teenager, already convicted of shooting a police officer, is incompetent to stand trial on unrelated armed robbery charges.
However, Will Patterson, Jr. could be tried at a later date.
Will Patterson was just 15 when prosecutors say he lured people to his Portsmouth neighborhood by selling items on Offerup and then robbing people who responded at gunpoint.
Psychologist Weare Zwemer testified that he met with Patterson in jail four times. Zwemer says while Patterson has no diagnosed mental illness, he lacks a grasp of the consequences he faces.
Patterson reportedly told others he’d be out of jail soon and had planned to go to Busch Gardens.
In court on Wednesday, bailiffs twice told Patterson to sit up as he slouched in his chair and drummed on the chair’s arms. He was much more attentive when his mother, Wilmesha Speller, took the stand.
Speller says Patterson was haunted by the voice of his younger brother, who drowned in a bathtub at age 1.
The alleged robberies happened last October, less than a month before Patterson shot Portsmouth officer Angelina Baaklini as she tried to take him into custody as a runaway. A jury found him guilty of attempted capital murder in that case in April.
The psychologist said Patterson’s developmental age is three to four years behind his actual age of 16.
Judge Joel Crowe cited the potential penalty on the robberies — 8 years mandatory and up to two life sentences — and declared Patterson incompetent.
However Patterson will get ongoing evaluations and mental health services over the next three months, and could face trial later on.
Baaklini told 10 On Your Side that she remains away from active duty after being shot four times last November.
Patterson has a court date in January for a review of both the robbery charges and the attempted murder conviction, for which he has yet to be sentenced.