By Camaron Abundes
ODESSA- A judge declared 23-year-old Dwayne Billings, accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl with Autism last January, incompetent. Billings, already a convicted sex offender will head to the Vernon State Hospital in Vernon, TX.
"It's not about the quality of evidence against him but it's about his ability to act in his defense," Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland said, "I believe once the doctors of the Vernon State Hospital, put him through the program, they will get him to the point where he can stand trial."
The disappearance of the young girl back on January 3, 2007 sparked a community wide search. The girl was later found in the 5500 block of West 18th Street. The girl reportedly wandered away from the Thrift World parking lot on Andrew's Highway, where her mother left her inside their car.
"I did do it. I am not no innocent. I do feel sorrow for what I did," Billings said in broken English to a Newswest 9 reporter days after the kidnapping.
Billing's defense team filed a motion to declare Billing's incompetent after a doctor made the recommendation. A doctor representing the prosecution also deemed Billing's incompetent.
"Our expert says let him go to the Vernon State Hospital, get treatment, get education and then he should be able to help in his defense and come back here and stand trial," Bland said, "I am sure in this case eventually justice will be done. It may take a while to get there, but we will get there."
Bland says Bilings may still face up to life in prison. Bland says typically a defendant will head to the state hospital and get treatment and then in the majority of cases they will return to face charges. Bland adds if for some reason a judge extends the 120 day order and Billings later is deemed incompetent either mental health or retardation prevent him from aiding his own defense Bland says they may try to keep Billings behind bars through a civil trial.