No ruling at competency hearing for downtown Orlando shooter



ORLANDO, Fla. - A judge still has not decided whether a man accused of shooting six people in downtown Orlando is competent enough to stand trial.

Jason Rodriguez admitted to shooting former co-workers in a downtown office building in November 2009, but the trial could be moved to Gainesville.

There, Rodriguez is being held in a state mental hospital. His lawyers said they were worried he wouldn't be stable enough for the trial without treatment, and they want to keep him close to the hospital.

Rodriguez is accused of killing one person and wounding five in the shooting.

During Tuesday's hearing, Rodriguez whispered into his attorney's ear. Moments later, the judge asked if he was OK, and Rodriguez told him he thought his head would explode.

That's when the judge ordered the second recess in what could be a long competency hearing.

In court, Rodriguez kicked his feet nervously as he talked to his attorneys while a battery of doctors commented on his mental state, Channel 9's Christopher Heath said.

"There is a high risk that he will become incompetent during the trial," said psychologist Dr. Daniel Tressler.

Four defense psychologists took the stand, each with similar conclusions.

"Paranoid schizophrenia with feelings of delusion," said psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Danziger.

Rodriguez has improved, but still hears voices and believes his brain was hacked. He said a voice called Sharp Tooth is responsible for his actions.

"Recently, he began to complain of voices and things that he had not been doing for a while," said psychologist Dr. Eric Mings.

The doctors said Rodriguez understands the charges against him and the penalties he faces but still wants to take the stand in his own defense and tell the jury about brain hacking, about his complaints to the FCC and that he expects to be acquitted of all charges.

While all the defense doctors agree that the defendant suffers from mental illness, at least two suggested if he could stay at his hospital in Gainesville as opposed to the Orange County Jail, he could stay competent enough for a trial.

The state still has its own doctors and ultimately, Judge Belvin Perry will make the final decision. However, there's no word on when Perry will rule on the case.