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LUTZ

Judge orders man to state mental hospital

By KEVIN GRAHAM
Published May 9, 2003

LUTZ - A circuit judge agreed on Monday with psychiatric evaluations that found Donald I. "Florida" Horton incompetent to stand trial for attempted murder.

Judge Chet A. Tharpe ordered that Horton, 23, be admitted to a state mental hospital for treatment.

"He doesn't have the mental capacity at this time to defend himself," said Charles Calandra, Horton's attorney.

If doctors determine Horton to be competent while he is at the state facility, Horton will be sent back before a judge to stand trial, charged with a hate crime, Calandra said.

Authorities said Horton shot Jeffrey Haskell, 18, with a 9mm handgun early New Year's morning after making the remark, "This is what I do to white boys."

Horton is African-American; Haskell is white.

Haskell was on his way home from visiting his girlfriend in Lutz when he was shot.

- Kevin Graham

[Last modified May 8, 2003, 11:31:55]

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