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Suspect in deputy's killing found mentally incompetent in 2012, prosecutor says

The suspect in the slaying of Texas deputy Darren Goforth was found mentally incompetent in 2012 to stand trial on a felony assault charge, a prosecutor said Monday.

About three years ago, Shannon J. Miles was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after fighting a man at an Austin homeless shelter over the television remote control, said Joe Frederick, a prosecutor in Travis County, Texas.

Miles kicked and punched the victim, injuring his face, back and head, Frederick said. The deadly weapon used in the assault was his hands.

Before trial, Miles was found mentally incompetent and sent to Vernon State Mental Hospital for six months, Frederick said. He was determined to be competent and sent back to Travis County for trial, but prosecutors could not find the assault victim and the case was dropped, Frederick said.

Miles is charged with capital murder in the killing of Goforth, who was pumping gas into his patrol car Friday when a man approached from behind and shot him 15 times, a prosecutor said Monday.

Miles, 30, arrived at Harris County District Court in Houston on Monday wearing the yellow jumpsuit the county assigns to high-security inmates, his wrists and ankles shackled to his waist.

Miles did not speak much during the hearing, but at one point, Judge Denise Collins admonished Miles to address her as \"ma'am.\"

One of Miles' court appointed attorneys, Anthony Osso, said Miles \"looked to me to have a blank expression, which is always a cause for concern.\"

Miles will undergo a psychological examination as part of his background investigation, Osso said. A defense team is being put together that will include forensic experts and psychological experts, he said.

Harris County prosecutors have already filed a request with the county psychiatric center for documents about Miles' treatment at the center.

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