Competency evaluation delays hospital shooting murder case

Jeffery Moretz, 54, appears in court in August 2011 for the first time since being charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting his estranged wife, Christine Moretz, in the head at Physicians Regional Hospital in North Naples on July 5, 2011. According to an affidavit, Jeffery Moretz started a brief argument with his estranged wife, Christine Moretz, before fatally shooting her and turning the gun on himself. Moretz was wheeled in to the courtroom in a wheelchair and had a tracheotomy. According to his lawyer, Lee Hollander, his jaw is wired shut.

Photo by Lexey Swall

Jeffery Moretz, 54, appears in court in August 2011 for the first time since being charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting his estranged wife, Christine Moretz, in the head at Physicians Regional Hospital in North Naples on July 5, 2011. According to an affidavit, Jeffery Moretz started a brief argument with his estranged wife, Christine Moretz, before fatally shooting her and turning the gun on himself. Moretz was wheeled in to the courtroom in a wheelchair and had a tracheotomy. According to his lawyer, Lee Hollander, his jaw is wired shut.

— The murder case against a Golden Gate Estates man accused of shooting his estranged wife at a hospital has been delayed for a competency and psychiatric evaluation.

Lawyers in the case against Jeffery Moretz, charged with second-degree murder in July 2011 shooting of Christine Moretz at Physicians Regional—Pine Ridge, will reconvene May 13 to review whether the case can continue.

Berry, also Moretz’s lawyer, said he received information that raised concerns about competency and insanity. He declined to disclose the nature of the information.

Collier Circuit Judge James Shenko ordered an evaluation on March 28, with results expected in the next two to three weeks, Berry said.

In the months after the shooting, Berry indicated he might seek to declare the 55-year-old incompetent to stand trial but later said he couldn’t do so “in good faith.”

Three months ago, Moretz’s son, Chad, was killed in a shootout with police. Authorities said Chad Moretz killed and dismembered an acquaintance.

© 2013 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features