More psychological testing for Odessa teen charged with killing parents

More psychological testing for Odessa teen charged with killing parents

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - An Odessa teen charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of his parents will undergo a second mental health evaluation, his attorney confirmed.

James Gabriel "Gabe" McDonald, 17, was arrested last month and admitted during a police interview to shooting his parents at their Conley Avenue home while they slept, according to authorities.

McDonald's Odessa-based defense attorney, Justin Low, said the first phase of the teen's mental health evaluation "lasted several hours" and did not result in any conclusive diagnoses.

Medical professionals have been tasked with evaluating McDonald's ability to understand and rationally participate in court proceedings, a standard affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1960 decision.

Doctors leading the assessment have yet to determine his competency to stand trial, Low said Tuesday.

"There's some significant testing going on," he explained. "A lot of things they need to look at and people they need to talk to."

Low visited McDonald Tuesday at the Ector County Detention Center and said his client did not appear to be aware of his surroundings.

"I don't even think he understands at all why he's there," he said. "His emotions are inconsistent... Clearly something is not as it should be."

The second phase of McDonald's mental health assessment is scheduled for Friday, Low confirmed, and may lead to further testing before a final competency determination is made.

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