Possible Conflict in Former Panama City Firefighter Pre-Trial

By: Cameron Taylor Email
By: Cameron Taylor Email

Defense attorneys for a former panama city firefighter charged with murder are trying to declare him incompetent to stand trial.

State attorneys say they're not buying it, and want their own medical expert to examine the defendant Joseph Moody.

There may be a conflict between the former firefighter and the state's medical expert.

41-year-old Joseph Moody is accused of killing his former girlfriend 24-year-old Megan Pettis last march.

Police say he confessed to shooting her as she was trying to leave the Publix parking lot on 23rd Street.

Moody's attorneys are now saying their mental health professional found him incompetent to stand trial.

The state wants to appoint their own medical expert to test the claim, but there may be a problem.

"There is a conflict that exists with the potential appointment of Dr. McClaren. So, we would like to oblige the state, but at the same time, we do believe there is a conflict with Dr. McClaren," said Defense Attorney Dana Morris, who was standing in for Rusty Shepard.

The defense didn't get into specifics about the supposed conflict, and the state wasn't aware of it.

"I'd like to see some verification of that myself. I have not talked with Dr. McClaren myself, if there is, we would name somebody else. I mean we certainly don't want to put Dr. McClaren in a uncomfortable position or do anything unethical," said Bob Sombathy.

Judge Michael Overstreet who's presiding over the case says he'll hold the state's order to appoint a medical expert while both attorneys figure out if there is an actual conflict.

If so, then the state will appoint another medical expert to determine moody's competence to stand trial.

That motion hearing is set for next Tuesday morning.


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