Mental Health Review Finds Jonathan Fullard Competent in Murder of Keyontae Moore; Defendant Mulls Withdrawing Plea

Judge William Jackson pushed back sentencing for Jonathan Fullard on Wednesday to give him more time to decide if he wants to withdraw his guilty plea in the case.

Fullard, 29, pled guilty to second-degree murder in October in connection with the death of 20-month-old Keyontae Osbia Moore.

According to the plea, Fullard was babysitting Moore, who was his girlfriend’s son, on March 4, 2012, while she was at work. Fullard said that over the course of the evening he was “play boxing” with Moore and punched him five to six times in his upper torso. Around 3 a.m. Fullard called his then-girlfriend and told her that Moore had stopped breathing.

Moore died on March 5 from multiple blunt force trauma; bruising was found around his penis and anus.

According to documents in the case, Fullard has claimed that he hears voices. And in December Judge Jackson ordered an examination to determine if Fullard was competent enough to waive an insanity defense and participate in sentencing.

During the examinations, which took place over the course of a month, Fullard said that he has auditory hallucinations telling him to “kill himself and cause harm to others.” He also reported having dreams about cutting his wrist, the documents say.

Fullard also told the evaluator that his history of substance abuse included smoking marijuana on a “daily basis, all day.” He also said that he smoked PCP approximately two to three times a week, and that he was an alcoholic, according to documents in the case.

The evaluator wrote in her report, though, that Fullard demonstrated a firm understanding of the nature and gravity of the charges against him, and he also accurately described how the trial process works.

When the evaluator asked if he was aware that he had signed a plea offer in October, Fullard informed her that he was, but he wanted to withdraw his plea and proceed to trial.

On the basis of the final evaluation, which took place Feb. 14, the psychologist determined that Fullard was competent to proceed with criminal matters and that his “mental health factors did not compromise his ability to demonstrate a factual and rational understanding of legal proceedings.”

If Fullard withdraws his plea, he faces a first-degree murder charge, which carries a mandatory sentence of 30 years in prison; he also faces a charge of first-degree cruelty to children, which carries additional penalties.

Fullard is expected back in court on March 15 to present his decision to Judge Jackson.

The competency evaluation has been added to this post.

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