A Frederick man accused of killing his father has been deemed incompetent to stand trial after undergoing an evaluation by a psychologist with the Maryland Department of Health.

Sean Christopher Shifflett, 33, was charged with the first-degree murder of Terry Lynn Shifflett, 66. The elder Shifflett's body was found with apparent blunt force trauma injuries at a residence in the 7000 block of Hames Court April 27, charging documents state.

During a competency hearing in Frederick County Circuit Court Tuesday, an MDH psychologist's report showed Shifflett is not only incompetent to stand trial, but is "a danger to himself and others, and therefore requires inpatient psychiatric hospitalization," Frederick County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Will Cockey wrote in an email.

Judge Theresa Adams ordered Shifflett to be transferred from the Frederick County Adult Detention Center to a mental health facility within 10 days. Which facility he will reside in has yet to be determined.

Shifflett has been held without bail since his arrest. He has another competency hearing scheduled for Dec. 2.

Shifflett's attorney Mary McGuirk Drawbaugh declined to comment Wednesday.

At an April 28 bail review hearing, District Court Judge Dino E. Flores Jr. ordered Shifflett to undergo a competency evaluation through the Maryland Department of Health.

Shifflett, through court filings, entered pleas in District Court of not guilty, not competent to stand trial and not criminally responsible because he "lacked the substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality and/or conform his conduct to the requirements of law" due to a mental health disorder, a court document reads.

He was later 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 at about 4:15 p.m. 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 wrote. Emergency medical services personnel officially pronounced him dead at 5:05 p.m.

On scene, Sean Shifflett allegedly told police his father attacked him and that he defended himself, police said.

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller 

(7) comments

Greg F

You have to be nuts to do what he did...but at this point...competent or not, he should be held accountable and likely never see the free world again. Some people are too broken to fix...and this seems to be one of them. He's lucky he's in the 21st century and also not in other countries or he'd find himself taking a voyage off of a very tall cliff or something on that order. Now all he will be is a taxpayer burden for as long as he's still around.

Comment deleted.

He is mentally ill. I hope your family is spared that grief.

Comment deleted.


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