Florida fugitive who climbed Atlanta crane is judged sane

Carl Roland perched atop an Atlanta crane, left, for more than two days in 2005. A judge has ruled him competent to stand trial in the slaying of an Oldsmar mother of two.

Associated Press (2005)

Carl Roland perched atop an Atlanta crane, left, for more than two days in 2005. A judge has ruled him competent to stand trial in the slaying of an Oldsmar mother of two.

A Clearwater man charged in the death of his ex-girlfriend — then making national news by perching atop a crane in Atlanta for more than two days — has been declared competent to stand trial.

Carl E. Roland, 44, is charged with first-degree murder in the May 2005 death of Jennifer L. Gonzalez, a mother of two. Pinellas sheriff's detectives say Roland strangled Gonzalez and left her body in a retention pond near her Oldsmar apartment. Roland then fled to Atlanta and climbed a 25-foot construction crane over a busy street.

It took authorities 56 hours to coax him down. The ordeal was featured on national news channels.

Circuit Judge Tim Peters found Roland was incompetent for trial in August 2006 and sent him to a state mental health facility.

Doctors returned Roland to jail months later, and Peters ruled him competent last week. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for June 20.

Times staff report

Florida fugitive who climbed Atlanta crane is judged sane 03/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 27, 2008 1:56pm]

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