Hendersonville teen faces July trial for beating death of mom

Hendersonville teen faces July trial for beating death of mom (Image 1)

A Sumner County judge ruled a Hendersonville teen charged with killing his mother competent to stand trial and set a trial date for this summer.

Prosecutors say Zachary Davis beat his mother to death with a sledgehammer in August of 2012 and then attempted to burn the family's house down with his older brother asleep inside.

Davis' brother escaped uninjured.

A forensic psychiatrist hired by the defense testified Monday that Davis, 16, is a schizophrenic paranoid type who hears voices.

“I don't think he can process enough or work with Mr. [Randy] Lucas enough to mount a defense,” Dr. Bradley Freeman said.

Freeman testified that Davis cannot communicate effectively and should be housed in a mental hospital under medication and therapy.

However, psychiatrists for the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute testified that Davis is competent to stand trial.

Davis was observed three times by the staff at MTMHI, the most recent time was a seven month stay because Davis had exhibited suicidal behavior.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Rokeya Farooque testified that Davis is not a schizophrenic, but is depressed and has been since his father died from ALS a few years before his mother's murder.

“He knows his charges, he knows what happened, he knows about the incidence and he knows that you want to help him,” she said. “Whatever else you need from him you just have to let him know.”

Tuesday, a judge ruled Davis competent to stand trial and set a trial date for the week of July 14.

Davis faces charges of first degree murder, criminal attempt to commit first degree murder and aggravated arson.

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