Petworth Hammer Attack Suspect Ruled Incompetent - NBC4 Washington

Petworth Hammer Attack Suspect Ruled Incompetent

Two preliminary hearings held for Michael Davis on Friday



    A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled that hammer attack suspect Michael Davis is incompetent to stand trial. News4's Derrick Ward reports. (Published Friday, May 11, 2012)

    The man accused in several hammer attacks in the Petworth area of the District was ruled temporarily incompetent to stand trial.

    Two preliminary hearings were held Friday for Michael Davis, who is charged with assaulting several people with a hammer, and with the murder of tourist Gary Dederichs.

    A clinical psychologist who evaluated Davis said he did not have enough of a grasp of court proceedings to stand trial.

    The better part of the afternoon was spent with Davis's defense attorney trying to discredit witnesses against Davis as either being incredible or having their statements tainted by media coverage of the case -- an effort to get Davis cleared altogether. The defense Insisted that one victim did not get a good look at Davis and that another came forward after Davis had been publicly named a suspect.

    Hammer Attack Suspect to Appear in Court

    [DC] Hammer Attack Suspect to Appear in Court
    The man accused of killing a tourist by attacking him with a hammer is awaiting his court hearings. News4's Megan McGrath has more.
    (Published Friday, May 11, 2012)

    Prosecutors, however, stressed the similarity in the attacks in which Davis is charged and two others which are still being investigated.

    Davis, 19, had been ordered held without bond since his initial arrest last month.

    The body of 66-year-old Gary Dederichs was found in an alley in the 800 block of Emerson Street NW on April 24, with his head resting on a fanny pack. He apparently died of severe head trauma.

    Dederichs was a nurse who had been visiting D.C. from Denver. He had been renting a basement apartment in Petworth for the two weeks prior to his death.

    There were at least four other attacks in the neighborhood in a short period of time. Davis has been linked by police to three of them, including the murder. The other victims suffered trauma to the head, but all survived. Nothing was taken from any of the victims.

    The prosecution said Friday it would have to be a "bizarre" set of coincidences for someone else to be responsible for any of these attacks, and the judge agreed.

    Attorneys for both sides will be back in court May 16 to argue a motion that Davis's mental records be sealed.