Lawyer claims student charged with attacking teacher ‘not mentally competent to stand trial’

Late last month, horrifying video footage emerged from a high school in Florida showing a tall, heavyset male student chasing after and beating up his teacher.

According to reports, the male student had allegedly been upset over the teacher taking his Nintendo Switch from him during class time.

Afterward, the unhinged student told local deputies that he will “beat her up” every time she tries to take his console. He also reportedly issued a death threat.

Weeks later, justice is now finally starting to be served.

According to Flagler Live, a local outlet, State Attorney R.J. Larizza decided to charge the suspect, identified as Brendan Depa, as an adult.

Moreover, Larizza decided to apply a felony aggravated assault charge that’s punishable by up to 30 years of imprisonment.

He also chose to hold Depa on a $1 million bond.

Triple ouch …

Depa is reportedly fighting back. On Friday, his defense attorney, Kurt Teifke, filed a motion titled “suggestion of mental incompetence to stand trial.”

“Review of pertinent school, medical and mental health records, as well as information learned through the defendant as well as collateral sources (to include family members), leads the undersigned to have a reasonable, good faith belief that the defendant is not mentally competent to stand trial,” the motion reads, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Evidently, Depa suffers from some sort of “intellectual disability,” including possibly autism.

Indeed, court documents reportedly show that Depa had been living at East Coast Habilitation Options (ECHO), a group home that describes itself as a “group home agency for behaviorally challenged children and young adults.”

A help-wanted ad for the group home reportedly says it “helps children, teens and adults with autism, intellectual disabilities, and behavior challenges.”

Some supporters of Depa believe that this is reason enough for his case to remain in juvenile court:

During Friday’s hearing, Teifke also filed a plea of not guilty and requested more time to file additional motions.

The News-Journal notes that this isn’t Depa’s first rodeo: “Juvenile justice records listed three misdemeanor battery charges against Depa, all of which took place in the 13th Judicial Circuit which covers Hillsborough County. The charges were each listed as first-degree misdemeanors, according to records.”

The first charge was for an incident that occurred on June 5, 2019. The second was for one that occurred on April 25th. And the third was for one that occurred on March 22nd.

“The record indicates that in all three misdemeanor battery cases Depa was referred to a program known as JDAP. Another notation mentions JDAP Bays,” according to the News-Journal.

The newspaper believes this is a reference to a juvenile diversion program out of Tampa that “provides services including monitoring and anger management and strives to minimize the risk of the youth becoming a repeat offender.”

Based on Depa’s extensive history of violence, as well as the fact that he’s almost 18 anyway, most members of the public appear to believe that there really is no other option but to forward him into the adult system.

The belief is that the young man has proven time and time again that he simply isn’t cut out to function in a civilized society. The belief is further that if left to his own devices, he’ll eventually kill someone.



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Vivek Saxena


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