- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

GRETNA, La. (AP) - A Hahnville man accused of shooting a Harvey man outside a mall was found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Judge Lee Faulkner of the 24th Judicial District Court made the ruling Wednesday following an evaluation of the suspect, Gary Francois, The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/1RTo0Aj) reported.

Court-appointed analysts Drs. Rafael Salcedo and Richard Richoux found that Francois did not have the mental capacity to understand the proceedings against him or help in his defense.

The district attorney’s office charged Francois with second-degree murder in the death of 24-year-old James Vaughn outside the Oakwood Center mall on Christmas Eve 2014.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office said in an indictment that Francois was standing outside the store waiting for Vaughn to finish a purchase on the night of the incident. Francois then walked up to Vaughn and opened fire. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said there was bedlam in the mall after the shooting. Francois was arrested after a brief chase.

Francois pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

Judge Faulkner ordered Francois remanded to the state mental hospital in Jackson, Louisiana. He is scheduled to return to court March 16 for re-evaluation.


Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com



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