NORTH FULTON, Ga. — Jeffrey Hazelwood, the man accused of shooting two local teenagers in Roswell, is competent to stand trial, according to a clinical psychologist.
Hazelwood, 20, is facing charges in the deaths of Natalie Henderson and Carter Davis, who were both found dead August 2016 in a parking lot behind a Roswell Publix. He has been indicted on a total of 15 counts, including aggravated assault, aggravated sexual battery, identity fraud, kidnapping, theft and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Hazelwood initially pleaded not guilty at his first court appearance.
He once again appeared in Fulton County Superior Court May 3 for a status hearing, after his attorney argued that Hazelwood was mentally ill.
However, Dr. Christian Hildreth said that Hazelwood can now understand the proceedings and is competent to stand trial.
Hildreth has been treating Hazelwood at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville after he was moved from Fulton County Jail for lack of adequate treatment. When Hazelwood first arrived at the Milledgeville hospital in February, Hildreth said the suspect was confused, unable to complete sentences and was hearing voices.
That changed when Hazelwood was treated with a new course of medications.
“By March 13, he was able to have a rational and coherent discussion with me. He showed no signs of confusion,” Hildreth said. “His speech was well directed. It was clear, normal rate and rhythm.”
Hildreth said that he and his team believe Hazelwood has a “serious mental illness,” but are having trouble labeling his diagnosis.
Fulton County Judge Shawn LaGrua ended the hearing without a ruling, but will make her decision on Hazelwood’s mental capacity at a later date.
Hazelwood’s next court appearance is slated for May 17.