SAN ANTONIO – In October 2015, a jury decided that Mark Anthony Gonzalez should be executed for killing Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth Vann.
The law allows that Gonzalez’s competency can be evaluated by another jury before that punishment is formally imposed.
On Thursday, a trial began before Magistrate Judge Andrew Carruthers to address the competency issue.
The first witness, defense attorney Kurt Gransee, who along with attorney Paul Goeke represented Gonzalez during the capital murder trial, testified that Gonzalez became uncooperative as the punishment phase of his trial began.
“I thought maybe it was volitional,” Gransee testified. “That he was absenting himself on purpose, I thought.”
He said that as the trial continued, Gonzalez’s behavior became more pronounced.
“It seemed to be very acute,” he said. “The worst that it had been.”
The capital murder trial was halted for a day and Gonzalez was evaluated for competency by a psychologist and was determined to be competent.
That doctor is among witness scheduled to testify during the competency trial.
The state’s position is that though he was not always cooperative, Gonzalez met the criteria for competency.
“The defendant is competent if he has the sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of national understanding,” prosecutor Julie Wright told the jury during her opening statement Thursday.
The state, too, plans to call experts who have evaluated Gonzalez.