In early August, we reported on the shocking drowning of a young autistic girl in a Florida River. Shakayla Denson, the girl’s mother, has been charged with murder. On Thursday, August 30th, Shakayla’s attorney requested a competency hearing. The goal of the hearing will be to determine if Denson has a mental illness or intellectual disability. The judge on the case agreed to the hearing.
A report is due to the court on October 22, 2018. The court will hold a hearing two days after receiving the results of the report. Two doctors are assigned to rule on her competency. Denson pled not guilty to the charges of murdering her daughter.
In our previous reports, witnesses described Shakayla chanting and walking almost like a zombie. She appeared to be chanting numbers. Denson went as far as trying to enter a nearby apartment.
Her crime committed in early August made national news. Shakayla stole a car. Then drove the car to a nearby river. Witnesses at the river watched her drag her daughter out to the river. Denson walked into the river until her shoulders touched the water. Witnessed watched her release her daughter.
After leaving her daughter in the river, she walked down the road. She was arrested within a mile of the crime. Her daughter was discovered by divers later that afternoon. The girl was pronounced dead at a local hospital a few hours later.
Few details have been provided since the arrest of Shakayla in August. While we know she has been previously under investigation by CPS, that case was closed without incident. Authorities have been tight-lipped on her mental health status.
I will update with more information as more information is released. For now, two doctors are tasked with the job to determine if Shakayla is fit to stand trial.
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