Tampa triple murder suspect ‘incompetent to stand trial’ after ‘mental breakdown’

Local News

TAMPA (WFLA) — The murder trial of Xavier Whitehead came to abrupt halt on Wednesday as Judge Samantha Ward ruled he is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Whitehead is accused of killing Xavier Greene, 28, Derek Archie, 29, and Haley Stone, 20 on November 15th of 2018. Firefighters found their bodies in a Tampa mobile home after it had been set on fire.

Whitehead is charged with premeditated first-degree murder, armed burglary, robbery, arson and tampering with physical evidence.

As day two of his murder trial was starting Wednesday, Judge Ward heard evidence that Whitehead was having a mental breakdown in jail and had refused to go to court.

Ward told the jury, “Some issues have arisen regarding the mental health of the defendant to proceed to trial at this time.”

Tampa attorney Lily McCarty is not involved in the trial, but has handled many cases involving mental health.

She says it’s rare for a judge to declare a mistrial like this, but not unheard of.

McCarty says Whitehead will not be allowed to walk free.

“He’s given restoration therapy where he learns the criminal justice system, maybe he’s medicated, anything that will get him back to the level where he is competent to stand trial and then he comes back and the trial procedure begins all over again,” said McCarty.


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