Judge rules Jasmine Taylor competent to stand trial
PADUCAH - Jasmine Taylor--accused in the December 2010 death of CaSondra Evrard in West Paducah---is competent to stand trial.
That finding came from Judge Craig Clymer after two doctors testified in her competency trial today.
Jasmine and her father Mark Taylor are both charged in the murder.
Judge Clymer’s office says there is a hearing at 2:30 p.m. Friday, where Brandi Marshall, Destiny Marshall and Zachary Findley are to enter pleas.
Mark Taylor was also scheduled to have a competency hearing yesterday, but the judge postponed it. Taylor is now due in court on Sept. 6.
Full text of the judge's findings are below.
"ORDER AS TO COMPETENCY
"This matter is before the Court following a hearing to determine whether Defendant is competent to stand trial.
"A hearing was held on August 24, 2011. The Commonwealth’s witness, Dr. Andrew Cooley testified at the hearing that Defendant is competent to stand trial. The Defendant’s witness testified at the hearing that the Defendant is incompetent to stand trial.
"For the following reasons, the Court finds the Defendant competent to stand trial.
"1. The Court ordered Defendant transported to KCPC for an independent evaluation of her competency. Defendant underwent a clinical evaluation over a period of 60 days at KCPC. In addition to the 60 day evaluation, various scientifically recognized reliable assessment tests were administered in a hospital setting. A history consisting of over 900 pages was reviewed as part of the evaluation. The evaluator also viewed a 2.5 hour police interrogation of the Defendant.
"2. On Defendant’s counsel’s motion, the Court ordered that funds be available for an evaluation of Defendant by an expert chosen by defense counsel. Dr. Michael Nicholas completed an evaluation. The evaluation consisted of a review of portions of Defendant’s history, a viewing of the police interrogation, and various clinical tests administered at the McCracken County Regional Jail. The evaluator spent a total of three to four hours with Defendant.
"3. At the hearing both evaluators found fault with the conclusions of the other and both found fault with parts of the testing processes utilized by the other.
"4. The Court finds that both evaluators were extremely qualified as experts and that they used scientifically reliable instruments and processes to evaluate. The decision as to competency comes to the legal presumption to be applied and the extent of the evaluation process.
"5. A defendant is presumed to be competent. It is, therefore, a defendant’s burden to overcome that presumption. The KCPC evaluation performed over a 60 day clinical hospitalization is, all other things equal, much more persuasive than a four hour testing session in a jail.
"6. The Court finds that Defendant has failed to overcome the presumption of competency.
"It is therefore ORDERED that Defendant is competent to stand trial."