New trial granted for teen convicted of shooting Portsmouth police officer

Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A judge has granted a teenager previously convicted of trying to kill a Portsmouth police officer a new trial.

Will Patterson Jr. was scheduled to be sentenced Monday after being convicted in 2018 on an attempted murder charge, but the sentencing was withdrawn from the docket because the judge granted Patterson’s motion for a new trial.

Patterson is accused of shooting Officer Angelina Baaklini multiple times in November 2017, when she tried to take him into custody as a 15-year-old runaway. She was seriously injured, and her surgeon said she even came minutes from dying, but recovered.

Patterson pleaded not guilty to all charges he faced, including attempted capital murder and aggravated malicious wounding, but was ultimately convicted on all charges by a jury.

The court hasn’t set a date for Patterson’s new trial yet, but he is set to be in court for a term hearing on Nov. 5.

In a court document granting the motion to vacate and set aside the verdict, Patterson’s defense council says he was incompetent at the time of the trial.

The document says they were made aware of his mental health issues after the jury’s verdict in April 2018 but before sentencing.

Paperwork from the motion says in the summer of 2018, Patterson was evaluated by two doctors who both determined he was incompetent to stand trial.

The judge also found he was incompetent to be sentenced in October 2018.

He then ordered Patterson undergo services to restore his competency.

Patterson was finally found competent by another doctor for a sentencing in February.

The paperwork states ultimately three doctors provided reports and testimony he was incompetent due to “developmental immaturity.”

Therefore, it would have been impossible for him to have been competent before and during his trial.

In the documents, the defense argues because he was incompetent throughout all stages of trial preparation and the trial itself, his right to due process and his right to effective assistance of council were violated.

The judge granted the motion agreeing his rights were indeed violated late last month.


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