Mental health questions delay death penalty trial for Arapahoe County man accused of killing son – Colorado News

Mental health questions delay death penalty trial for Arapahoe County man accused of killing son – Colorado News

CENTENNIAL | The murder trial of a man facing the death penalty after police say he killed his 6-year-old son and raped his ex-girlfriend has been pushed back amid questions about the man’s mental health.

Brandon Jamaal Johnson, 27, was set to go on trial Oct. 10 on multiple charges, including first-degree murder, stemming from the February 2016 slaying of his son, Riley, in unincorporated Arapahoe County.

But in court Thursday Arapahoe County Chief District court Judge Carlos Samour Jr. said that trial date has been vacated. Samour said he will wait to schedule a new trial date until after he rules on whether Johnson must undergo a mental health exam prosecutors are pushing for.

“We just kind of have to wait and see what happens,” he said.

Samour gave the two sides until later this month to file motions regarding the mental health exam.

Johnson has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has not claimed he was insane at the time of the killing. But prosecutors said in a motion earlier this month that several witnesses the defense plans to call during the penalty phase of the trial will likely testify about Johnson’s mental health. Because of that, prosecutors say Johnson must undergo a mental health exam.

Lawyers for Johnson have objected to the exam.

Johnson appeared in court wearing an orange jail jumpsuit and sat quietly at the defense table during Thursday’s brief hearing.

Arapahoe County sheriff’s office investigators testified last year that Johnson’s former girlfriend said she and Johnson had broken up a few weeks before the crime, but still lived together while Johnson tried to figure out a place to live with Riley. Riley was Johnson’s…

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