Sunday, February 25, 2018
Public safety

Teen accused of killing 2 in Oldsmar is ruled incompetent to stand trial

An 18-year-old accused of killing his mother and her boyfriend in October was deemed incompetent to stand trial, the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office said.

During a hearing Wednesday, an order of incompetency was issued for Benjamin Bishop. Three doctors evaluated Bishop separately in November, May and June.

One doctor said he was competent, but the others disagreed, court records show.

The court concluded that Bishop is currently incompetent to stand trial.

"He's not able to communicate with lawyers and doesn't know what's going on," said Bruce Bartlett, chief assistant state attorney for the Pinellas-Pasco circuit.

The order means that Bishop will be sent to a mental health facility for treatment. Doctors there will then send periodic reports to the court with updates on his condition.

"If at some point they feel like he has returned to a state where he is competent," Bartlett said, "then they would send him back here for further proceeding."

A status check on Bishop's condition is scheduled for Jan. 9, records show.

The doctors' evaluation reports were not disclosed because of medical confidentiality, Bartlett said.

Bishop remained in the Pinellas County Jail on Wednesday afternoon.

The Florida Department of Children and Families declined to say when Bishop will be transferred and which mental facility he will go to for treatment.

Bishop pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder. Detectives say he has confessed to fatally shooting his mother, Imari Shibata, and her boyfriend, well-known swim coach Kelley Allen, both 49, on Oct. 28 with a 12-gauge shotgun while they lay in bed in their Oldsmar home.

Before the killings, a psychiatrist had diagnosed Bishop with schizophrenia. He was also taken into custody by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office under the Baker Act several times.

In the past, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge for trying to strangle his mother.

Times staff writer Curtis Krueger contributed to this report. Contact Laura C. Morel at [email protected] or (727)445-4157.

Comments
Deputies: Plant City man stabbed to death during argument Saturday

Deputies: Plant City man stabbed to death during argument Saturday

PLANT CITY — A man died Saturday night after he was stabbed by another man inside his own home, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Moses Wilson, 49, got into an argument with James Michael Meeks, 23, both of whom live at 4308 James...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect ‘going to explode’

Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect ‘going to explode’

WASHINGTON — A woman close to the man charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school warned the FBI in chilling detail that he had a growing collection of guns and a temper so uncontrollable she worried about him "getting into a school and j...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

He was chronically depressed, beguiled by firearms and violence, an oddball ostracized by peers and prone to angry outbursts.He experienced, in rapid succession, blows of the sort that can send a disturbed, isolated young man hurtling into a spiral o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Published: 02/24/18
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Published: 02/24/18
Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

TAMPA — A male motorcyclist died early Saturday morning on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Tampa Police Department said.About 1:35 a.m., the victim rode his motorcycle west on the Courtney Campbell at high speeds, police said. The motorcycle stru...
Published: 02/24/18
Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating allegations that multiple deputies failed to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after the shooting rampage there, adding to the mounting internal probes examin...
Published: 02/24/18
Police: Registered sex offender who attacked Marriott hotel worker arrested

Police: Registered sex offender who attacked Marriott hotel worker arrested

TAMPA — A registered sex offender was arrested early Saturday morning by Tampa Police in connection with a hotel worker who was attacked earlier this week, the department said.John Eckhard, 41, was arrested about 1:30 a.m. on charges of aggravated ba...
Published: 02/24/18
Parents accused of torturing their 13 children face new charges

Parents accused of torturing their 13 children face new charges

The 13 Turpin siblings gained their freedom last month after one of them escaped through a window and called 911, ending years of imprisonment under parents accused of starving and chaining them to their beds in a putrid home not far from Los Angeles...
Published: 02/24/18
Concerned about gun posts, dad turns in son’s phones. Cops find something else.

Concerned about gun posts, dad turns in son’s phones. Cops find something else.

After the Parkland school shooting that horrified the nation, a Miami father told police he was worried about his son’s disturbing posts with guns on Instagram and Snapchat.So he gave investigators his son’s smartphones — and they found child porn, c...
Published: 02/24/18