Landavazos comment on Lott incompetent to stand trial

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Lauren Landavazo's memorial continues to shine on Kingston drive in Wichita Falls.

With stuffed animals, crosses and flowers community members continue to honor and remember the 13-year-old.

Landavazo was shot and killed on September 2, 2016, while walking home from school with her friend.

On Monday, Maureen Shelton, the Wichita County District Attorney, said Kody Lott, the man accused of murdering Landavazo, has been declared incompetent to stand trial. Meaning Lott is not able to understand the proceedings at this time.

Shelton said this is a completely different thing than insanity.

"Insanity is a defense to criminal liability, and it's what your state of mind at the time of the offense," said Shelton. "So that's raised during the trial of the offense."

She adds typically incompetency is raised by the defense attorney saying that their client is showing some inability to understand or communicate with them.

"They make the court aware, and the court looks at whether they believe an expert should be appointed," Shelton said. "So they appoint a disinterested mental health professional to conduct a report and report back to the court."

Below is a statement Newschannel 6 received from the Landavazo family.

"From the very beginning of this horrible ordeal, our DA, Maureen Shelton has been upfront with Bianka and I and has kept us informed of what to expect as we go through this process.  She is committed, compassionate, and passionate about getting justice for Lauren and Makayla.  We have the utmost faith in her and the fine team of men and women who have worked tirelessly in preparation for the trial.  We cannot sit and talk about anything to do with this case and that is the only reason we turned down the requested interview.  We deeply appreciate your support as well and appreciate the outreach.
 
What we can say is that we know these steps are a necessary part of our painful journey.  Everyone involved, including the defense attorney, plays a very important role in our system of justice and when everyone involved does their job, the system works the way it was designed and justice will be served.  No verdict or sentence will ever bring back the beautiful soul that we lost on September 2, 2016, but we are heartened by the continuing support from so many in this community.  

We also ask that if people still want to do something to help, put aside what you think you know, and the next time our children rally to ask why we aren't doing more to protect them while they are still alive, at least give them the courtesy and respect society is demanding from them, and show up and listen to them.  They have more value than can be said and their hopes, dreams, and fears should be central to us as parents and how we shape the laws we live by as a society.  There is no greater treasure in life than our children and they are the hope for a better future. Our hope from the start of our new, shattered lives has been that no other parent ever have to know the grief and pain of losing your child.  We will continue that fight until we are finally called home to be with our daughter."

For now, mental health professionals will work with Lott to restore competency at a maximum security mental health facility.

Shelton said once competency is restored Lott will be transferred back to Wichita County jail.

Shelton said she still fully intends to go to trial in September. If found guilty, Lott could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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