Saturday, January 26, 2008

Inmate ruled incompetent for appeal

January 26, 2008


John Huggins, a death-row inmate who killed an Orlando woman in 1997, remains incompetent to proceed with his legal appeal.

The challenge Friday for Orange-Osceola Chief Circuit Court Judge Belvin Perry was what to do with him.

Having Department of Children and Families doctors treat Huggins at Union Correctional Institution won't work. A DCF team was supposed to treat him last year but said he was faking a psychotic disorder and found him competent. But three doctors appointed by the court reported he is still incompetent and needs medication.

Perry sided with them and ordered Department of Corrections to treat him. The medical team must consult with the three court-appointed doctors and the DCF counselors. The team also must submit its treatment plan with all the lawyers involved and the court.

Huggins was convicted of strangling Carla Larson, 30, on June 10, 1997, after she left her job at a construction site at the Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center. Her body was found partially buried in dirt near Walt Disney World.

Sarah Lundy, Ludmilla Lelis, Denise-Marie Balona, Willoughby Mariano and Kate Santich of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

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