Crime

Finley man found competent to stand trial in Pasco murder case

DeShawn I. Anderson
DeShawn I. Anderson Tri-City Herald

A 19-year-old Finley man who faces a murder charge in Pasco has been found competent to stand trial.

DeShawn I. Anderson now has a Jan. 20 trial date after Franklin County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom found him competent.

Anderson is charged with first-degree murder, along with four counts of first-degree assault for a Nov. 18 shooting at a car occupied by four men.

Prosecutors have said Anderson was the “mastermind” behind the Dec. 3 slaying of Lorenzo “Richie” Fernandez Jr., 22, who was shot to death as he sat in his car in the parking lot of Stonegate Apartments.

Anderson’s case had been on hold since January after defense attorney Shelley Ajax told the court she had concerns her client may be developmentally disabled.

A state psychologist met with Anderson in March and determined that, although he has antisocial personality disorder, a substance-abuse disorder and “an adjustment disorder with mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct,” he should be able to interact with his lawyer for the criminal case.

Ajax sought an independent evaluation from psychologist Megan McNeal of Vancouver, Wash.

In a Sept. 7 report, McNeal said Anderson has a history of trauma, including watching his parents’ abusive relationship as a young child, later alleged physical abuse by his mother’s boyfriend, and events connected to his gang affiliation, like being shot at many times and the resulting nightmares.

He started showing signs of mental health problems in elementary school, “is impulsive and prone to involvement in thrill-seeking, risky activities,” and “has a history of engaging in aggressive behaviors,” the report said.

McNeal concluded that Anderson needs intensive treatment for his substance abuse history, medication for his mental health problems and long-term counseling. She said with job training and college courses, Anderson has the intellectual capacity to be successful in education programs, which could reduce his risk for committing crimes.

Prosecutors allege Fernandez’s death was part of an ongoing gang feud. Kenyatta K.E. Bridges also faces a murder charge in the killing. Bridges’ wife, Mary A. Faucett, faces conspiracy, first-degree rendering criminal assistance and making false or misleading statements to a public servant for her role in the death.

Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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