A Tarpon Springs man who police said killed his paternal grandparents and burned their house down more than a decade ago has been found competent to stand trial, the latest in a years-long battle over the issue.
George S. Georgiou, 33, faces two first-degree murder charges and a first-degree arson charge. Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of life in prison.
In court Friday, Judge Susan St. John said she had filed an order finding Georgiou competent to stand trial. She said she hopes to schedule the trial for the fall.
Police said Georgiou shot Steve Georgiou, 83, and Flora Georgiou, 78, on Jan. 4, 2011 in their Tarpon Springs home. He was 22 at the time.
The prominent Tarpon Springs couple owned two businesses, Miss Milwaukee Fishing Co. and Anclote Marine Ways. According to George Georgiou’s diary entries, detailed in court records, he was angry with his grandparents, who he said owed his father money. Detectives said he told them he intended force them to pay back the money the morning they were killed.
Law enforcement seized 13 guns and more than 16,500 rounds of ammunition from the home where Georgiou lived with his parents.
When police asked Georgiou if he killed his grandparents, he told them twice that he didn’t remember, according to his arrest affidavit.
Attorneys have battled for years over whether Georgiou is competent to stand trial. According to court records, he has been diagnosed with Schizotypal Personality Disorder, schizophrenia and autism. Since 2017, Georgiou has been found incompetent to stand trial five times, most recently in February 2021.
“I believe that with appropriate treatment, he may be able to reach a level of stability to be considered competent but his prognosis is guarded,” clinical psychologist Daniel Patz wrote in his evaluation at the time.
The most recent order finding Georgiou competent was not available in public court records Friday afternoon.