Judge expected to appoint independent expert to review suspected shooter’s competency to stand trial
While Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the student accused of killing 10 people in a shooting at Santa Fe High School in 2018, remains in a hospital, it’s possible there may be new movement in his case after he’s been repeatedly ruled incompetent to stand trial.
Pagourtzis is in custody at North Texas State Hospital and won’t be present on Friday morning when a judge could appoint an independent expert to conduct a review of his competency to stand trial.
A status conference is set for 10 a.m.
The suspected killer was last deemed incompetent to stand trial in February of this year.
“The treating physicians at the North Texas State Hospital have reported that Santa Fe High School shooting defendant Dimitrios Pagourtzis has not yet been restored to competency to stand trial,” a statement from the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office read on Feb. 1. “They have requested that he be recommitted to their facility for up to 12 months so that they can continue their efforts to restore him to competency. This is extremely disappointing news, especially as we near the five-year anniversary of these tragic murders. Nevertheless, we remain committed to seeing this case tried and seeing that justice is done.”
In February 2022, a similar decision was made to keep Pagourtzis in a facility for 12 months.
In a statement, Pagourtzis’ attorney, Nicholas R. Poehl, said at the time, “It is difficult to see a path forward when the prospects for his restoration steadily diminish the longer he remains incompetent.”
The shooting happened on May 18, 2018, at 7:30 a.m. Ten people, eight students and two teachers, were killed, and 13 others were wounded when authorities say Pagourtzis opened fire.