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Hearing on July 23 to determine the competency of the accused Indian Creek serial killer

A hearing in July will determine whether accused serial killer Fredrick Demond Scott is mentally competent to stand trial, a Jackson County judge ruled Thursday.

Scott, 29, is accused of murdering Steven Gibbons, 57, John Palmer, 54, David Lenox, 67, Timothy S. Rice, 57, Mike Darby, 61, and Karen Harmeyer, 64.

Most of the fatal shootings occurred along the Indian Creek Trail. Harmeyer was killed in Grandview.

Scott has been in custody for nearly eight years since his arrest in connection with the murders.

Judge Charles McKenzie ruled Thursday that two different judges had given differing opinions on Scott's mental competence and that, therefore, under state law, a separate hearing must be held to determine whether he is competent to stand trial.

In July 2021, a judge in Jackson County initially declared Scott unfit to stand trial.

A second Jackson County judge ruled in October 2021 that Scott was mentally competent to stand trial.

Due to the disagreement over Scott's mental state, trials scheduled for 2022 and 2023 were canceled. Scott was also assigned a new representative after his first attorney withdrew from the case.

Scott, who is black, also gained notoriety when he said he wanted to “kill all white people” while enrolled at Center Alternative School in Kansas City in 2014. All six of Scott's victims were white and five were middle-aged men.

The murders began in 2016 and continued until August 2017, when Scott was arrested.

All of Scott's victims were shot without warning, some right in front of their homes.

Scott will appear in court at 9 a.m. on July 23 for an evidentiary hearing on his mental competence. Both sides plan to call at least one medical expert witness.

McKenzie said he expects the hearing to last at least a day.

In the moments before Thursday's brief hearing, Scott spoke in an urgent, low voice with his attorney, reading quietly from a sheet of paper, his gaze darting to the side of the courtroom as the date for the evidentiary hearing was discussed and set.

Scott's mother had previously expressed her belief that Scott was suffering from undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia. She told the Star in 2017 that Scott's brother had been diagnosed with the same illness and she had noticed similarities in their behavior.

The families of Scott's victims questioned her motives for attempting to publicly explain their son's mental state.

This article uses previous reports by Bill Lukitsch, Toriano Porter, Glenn Rice, Ian Cummings and Joe Robertson.