The man accused of shooting at a St. Augustine police officer more than two years ago will wait until December to stand trial.
The trial for Charles Deonte Patten, 34, was scheduled to begin Wednesday morning in the St. Johns County courthouse, but Circuit Judge Howard Maltz granted his defense team’s last-minute motion to continue the trial.
Patten’s attorney, John W. Morris, with the Public Defender’s Office, filed the motion — his third motion for continuance — on Tuesday.
In it, Morris said his office had only been reappointed to the case in late September, and had just become aware of nearly roughly 500 pages of medical documents that needed to be reviewed to determine whether Patten is competent to proceed or whether he could mount a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Patten, who, in the course of the 28 months since his arrest has had at least three court-appointed attorneys (including two from the Public Defender’s Office) and has tried representing himself twice, is facing a single charge of attempted second-degree murder of a law enforcement officer.
He was arrested June 28, 2015 after St. Augustine Police Officer Lora Vaughn responded to the area O’Steen’s restaurant in the 200 block Anastasia Boulevard just after 2 a.m., following reports of gunshots.
According to the charging affidavit in the case, he fired a single shot at Vaughn’s patrol vehicle while she had the vehicle’s emergency lights activated and its spotlight trained on him. After the first shot was fired, Vaughn “took evasive action by driving the vehicle forward,” the affidavit says.
As she did so, Patten, who was standing in an alleyway near O’Steen’s, fell backward, firing a second shot, according to the document. He was taken into custody a short time later without incident.
Patten is also facing a single count of carrying a concealed firearm and three counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, though the three possession counts have been severed from the pending trial.
The case is scheduled for jury selection on Dec. 11.