Defendant Receives Trial Date Despite Pending Competency Evaluation 

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On Dec. 15, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa M. Phinn scheduled a trial date for a 24-year-old defendant who may be found incompetent to stand trial.

Jayquan Bridgeman is charged with first-degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to injure in connection to the Oct. 5, 2022, murder of 43-year-old Michael Washington

Defense attorney Isabel Lipman explained the ongoing challenge holding her client in judicial limbo to Judge Phinn.  

According to Lipman, the Circuit Court’s Medical Services Division requested to complete an extended competency evaluation, which would require Bridgeman to stay in a mental hospital. Judge Gale E. Rasin ordered that evaluation to take place, but the medical facility does not have a bed to offer Bridgeman. He cannot go to trial or return to mental health court before Judge Rasin without a determination of competency.

Despite what Lipman called the “inordinate delay” for Bridgeman’s evaluation, Judge Phinn scheduled his trial if he is ultimately found competent. 

In that case, his three-day trial will begin on May 21, 2024. 

Documents from the District Court of Maryland state that when a Baltimore Police Department officer responded to the scene on the 1400 block of North Central Avenue, a witness told him that Bridgeman stabbed Washington in the abdomen with a switchblade.

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