A Frederick man can stand trial for the April murder of his father after a Frederick County Circuit Court judge ruled him competent for trial, although whether his mental state at the time of the death will make him responsible for it remains to be determined.

Judge Theresa M. Adams ruled Thursday that Sean Christopher Shifflett, 34, can understand the charges against him and is able to help in his own defense, and is therefore competent to stand trial.

The judge, prosecutors and Shifflett’s defense attorney will meet again in about 90 days for another pretrial conference. That will be followed by a one-day motions hearing and eventually a scheduled 10-day trial, with those dates to be determined.

In the meantime, Shifflett will undergo an evaluation by the Maryland Department of Health to try and determine his criminal responsibility in the death of his father, Terry Shifflett, 66.

The elder Shifflett’s body was found with apparent blunt force trauma injuries at a home in the 7000 block of Hames Court on April 27.

A plea of not criminally responsible is Maryland’s version of the insanity defense.

Shifflett was initially determined in June as not competent to stand trial.

He’s being held in Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup pending his trial.

He was indicted by a Frederick County grand jury in early May for first-degree murder.

Police arrested Shifflett on April 27 after Frederick County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a well-being check in the Farmbrook community after a relative asked police to check on Sean and Terry Shifflett, according to charging documents.

Police found the elder Shifflett lying on the floor of a bedroom. Terry Shifflett had bruises on his hip, back and arm and “severe trauma” injuries to his jaw, eye and forehead area, police said.

Police said Sean Shifflett told police his father attacked him and that he defended himself.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(7) comments

C.D.Reid

"Shifflett was initially determined in June as not competent to stand trial," and now he is? I'm wondering what happened in the interim to change that view?

olefool

CD::

Justice happened.... But we can understand your lack of understanding of justice, being a Trump minion and all.... After reading the entire article and learning the nature and extent of the father's injuries that caused death, and the son's claim of "defending" himself; Maryland has a duty to retreat law that means that whoever is being attacked can’t use deadly force or self-defense if it’s possible to leave the situation safely. Currently, there is no Stand Your Ground law in Maryland to protect crime victims.

C.D.Reid

Ya know fool, replies like the one you gave me here do nothing but illustrate the fact that you are a complete fool. The man was "initially determined in June as not [mentally] competent to stand trial." It has since been ruled that he is. What the hell does Maryland's retreat law have to do with his mental competence to stand trial? You are a total idiot, and you prove it with every comment that you post.

saogirl52

I think the court's finding of Mr. Shifflett's incompetency to stand trial is not a finding in perpetuity. Since, at first he was found to be incompetent doesn't mean he will always be incompetent. Mr. Shifflett has probably been in treatment in a psychiatric hospital and is now recovered enough to stand trial and take part in his own defense.

olefool

It's called critical thinking CD/piddle..... Once again your attacks on me just illustrate your inability to do critical thinking. You see, I read the article and immediately recognized the legal issues involved, you on the other hand have not a clue what the legal issues are, and I won't waste time trying to educate you either. Attacking me like this only cements peoples opinion of you, a dumbass....

C.D.Reid

Oh, that's rich, fool!!! I "attack" you? As in you never attack me??? [lol][lol][lol][lol][lol] I'll have to re-post this comment of yours back at you next time you do just that. And you can bet I will.

I guess it's easier to write something unrelated like this, and say you "won't waste time trying to educate" me, than it is to answer my question of what does the determination of a man's mental competency to stand trial have to do with Maryland's retreat law. Deflecting like this only cements peoples opinion of you, a certified old fool. [lol][lol][lol]

C.D.Reid

@saogirl52, that was what I was wondering; if the man had received some kind of treatment to change the original assessment of his mental ability to be tried. Thank you for a reasonable answer instead of gibberish like I got from the fool. [thumbup]

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