Frederick Murder Suspect Ruled Incompetent To Stand Trial

Sean Shifflett

A status hearing in his case was held on Tuesday.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – The trial of a Frederick man charged with murdering his father last year has been postponed. State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says a status hearing was held Tuesday in Circuit Court for Sean Shifflett, 34. He says the medical experts who examined Shifflett presented their conclusions to Judge Richard Sandy. “They found Mr. Shifflett not competent to stand trial. And, therefore, we are not able to proceed as prosecutors,:” Smith says.

That means Shifflett is not able to participate in his own defense, and work with his counsel during trial.

Another competency hearing is expected to take place in September.

Shifflett was declared incompetent to stand trial last year for the death of his father. But after severer months, it was determined  Shifflett was competent to stand trial. “Competency is something that’s reviewed regularly by a judge,” says Smith. “Just because somebody is competent now, or not competent now, doesn’t mean that that status can’t change. That’s what happened with Mr. Shifflett.”

In April, 2021, Shifflett was charged with 1st-degree murder for the death of his father, Terry Lynn Shifflett. The body of the victim was found in a bedroom inside a town house on Hames Court in the Farmbrook community. The Sheriff’s Office, which investigated the case, says the two men got into a physical altercation before Terry Shifflett was killed.

“Certainly, it’s disappointing for us. But it is what it is,” Smith says, regarding the determination Sean Shifflett was incompetent to stand trial. . “We want justice for the victim, and so we want the trial to proceed. And for him to get a fair trial and for us to gain a conviction because we obviously believe he’s guilty, that’s not happening.”

By Kevin McManus