Motion denied

By Layron Livingston - bio | email

Smith County, Texas (KLTV) - Following the battle inside the courtroom, Monday morning, another battle began outside between Byron Truvia's family, and his attorney.

"This attorney is not competent to handle this type of case," said Bishop L.J. Guillory, the family's spokesman.

But Jim Huggler, Truvia's attorney, said he has handled capital murder cases before.  "I am providing effective representation or my client," he said.

Huggler said he was concerned his client, now accused of murder, was not mentally fit for court.

Monday, the court reviewed several exhibits, including discharge papers from Terrell State Hospital and commitment orders from the Texas Youth Commission, but denied the motion for a mental fitness evaluation.

"I have seen diagnoses, everything from conduct disorder, to, most recently, a diagnosis of schizophrenia," said Huggler.  Huggler said he filed the motion to have Truvia mentally evaluated the day after the stabbing.

"If your client doesn't know the color of his shirt, then yes, any attorney is going to look at that as a competency issue," he said.

Guillory said it would be remiss to think the [Truvia] is trying to manipulate his way out of the system.   Guillory said he has reached out to Huggler, suggesting a criminologist from Wiley College is interested in assisting in the case.  "[Truvia] has mental illness and needs help," said Guillory.

We called Wiley College and spoke with Dr. Tracy Andrus.  He told KLTV he was contacted by Bishop Guillory several days ago, but has not contacted the attorney.  Andrus said he was an expert in juvenile criminology and would be interested in reviewing the case.

"Anytime you can receive assistance, it's a good thing," said Huggler.  "But it has to be assistance that's professional, credible and will help my client."

Huggler said he intends on readdressing this issue in the future.  Truvia is still in custody at the Smith County Juvenile Attention Center.  An expert is expected to evaluate Truvia to determine whether or not he can stand trial as an adult.

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