A Frederick man accused of killing his father refused to come out of his jail cell for a bail review Wednesday and was ordered to undergo a competency evaluation by a judge.
Sean Christopher Shifflett, 33, of the 7000 block of Hames Court, is being held without bail after being charged with first-degree murder. Shifflett's father, 66-year-old Terry Lynn Shifflett, was found dead at the Hames Court residence Tuesday afternoon.
Sean Shifflett had a bail review hearing before District Court Judge Dino E. Flores Jr. Wednesday afternoon. When it was the defendant’s turn to appear on camera, a corrections officer came onto the screen and said Shifflett would not leave his cell.
Upon hearing this, Flores determined he would continue to be held without bail at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center and ordered a competency evaluation through the Maryland Department of Health, which will seek to determine whether Sean Shifflett is able to understand the nature of the court proceedings. Flores noted Shifflett was uncooperative with a District Court commissioner earlier.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office responded to a well-being check in the 7000 block of Hames Court at about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday in the Farmbrook community after a relative asked police to check on Sean and Terry Shifflett, according to charging documents. Once inside the residence, police found the elder Shifflett lying on the floor of a bedroom with what appeared to be blunt force trauma injuries. It appeared he’d been dead for some time, charging documents state.
Terry Shifflett had bruises on his hip, back and arm and “severe trauma” injuries to his jaw, eye and forehead area, police wrote. Emergency medical services personnel officially pronounced him dead at 5:05 p.m.
Police initially responded to the residence with multiple deputies due to a history of extensive calls for service and a known “combative/hostile” man who resides there, police wrote in charging documents, not specifying which resident was regarded as hostile. Police saw Sean Shifflett outside the home and recognized him from previous incidents, charging documents state.
Sean Shifflett allegedly told police his father was “high on methadone” and attacked him the night before. Shifflett further stated, “My dad attacked me and I defended myself with my hands,” police wrote. He gave police permission to enter the home, according to charging documents.
The concerned relative who called police said Terry Shifflett called her 35 times the night before and left a voicemail that said, “I believe [Sean Shifflett] is going to kill me, he choked me,” according to charging documents. The relative reportedly last spoke to Terry Shifflett at about 4:30 a.m. and was told he did not want to contact police. When the relative didn’t hear back from him, she called the police.
A witness told police they allegedly heard Sean Shifflett admit to killing his father and calling him a “zombie,” charging documents state.
When deputies questioned Sean Shifflett at the Frederick County Law Enforcement Center, he at first said he did not understand his rights. A deputy explained them again, then Shifflett reportedly said he defended himself against his father and that his dad was in the hospital, charging documents read. Police wrote that Sean Shifflett’s knuckles were bruised.
Online court records show Sean Shifflett was found guilty in 2019 of second-degree assault and sentenced to three years of supervised probation starting July 31, 2019.
No attorney was listed for Shifflett in online court records Wednesday and none was present for the hearing.