- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

HOUSTON (AP) - The man accused of fatally shooting a suburban Houston officer was twice committed to mental health facilities in the last five years and his attorney said Tuesday the man will undergo a psychological evaluation.

Shannon J. Miles remained jailed without bond on a capital murder charge in the death of Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth. Prosecutors allege Miles shot Goforth 15 times after the 47-year-old deputy had filled up his patrol car at a suburban Houston gas station. The motive remains unknown.

Miles was treated at the Harris County Psychiatric Center in 2010, said Anthony Osso, one of Miles’ two court-appointed attorneys. Osso said he doesn’t know how long the stay was or what treatment Miles received. Court records show the Harris County District Attorney’s Office has requested Miles’ records from that stay.

On Monday, authorities said the 30-year-old had spent several months at a state mental hospital after a 2012 arrest at an Austin homeless shelter for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Miles was later declared competent but the charge was dropped after the victim couldn’t be located.

Jon Evans, Miles’ attorney in the Austin case, said he was told by Miles’ mother that her son had a lifelong history of mental illness.

Osso said the defense team is still gathering information and will obtain a psychological evaluation of Miles as well as other standard tests on IQ, speech function and memory.

“You name it, we are going to look at it,” he said.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson has said investigators were still trying to figure out a motive. Over the weekend, law enforcement officials had suggested the shooting could be connected to heightened tensions around the country between law enforcement and civilians in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

But Osso said Miles’ defense team is “trying to tamper that rhetoric” and he is “asking the public to step back and let us do our evaluation.”

“Now people are starting to realize, wait a second, this is a guy with a history of mental illness and how will that impact the case,” Osso said.

Miles’ criminal history dates back to 2005 and it includes convictions for resisting or evading arrest and various sentences that resulted in several short stints in jail, from six to 10 days.

Goforth’s funeral is scheduled for Friday.


Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter at www.twitter.com/juanlozano70

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