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State Attorney: Aydelott will never get out of state mental hospital

Posted on October 13, 2016 by Mat Pellegrino

The former Gulf Breeze High School All-Star baseball player who admitted to brutally killing his mother inside of their Tiger Point home back on Christmas Eve 2013 was found not guilty of first degree murder on Tuesday by reason of insanity.
The verdict was handed down to the 20-year-old, William Brandon Aydelott, by Circuit Judge John F. Simon, Jr. at the Santa Rosa County Courthouse after a short one-day trial. Aydelott waived his right to a jury trial.
During his trial, doctors and psychologists testified that Aydelott was hearing “voices in his head” commanding him to kill his mother, Sharon, a teacher at Holley-Navarre Middle School.
Aydelott had been in and out of the state mental hospital in Chattahoochee since his first competency hearing in January 2014 and was found competent to stand trial back in June.
Following his stays in the state mental hospitals, Aydelott was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and doctors found no evidence that the then 17-year-old was under the influence of any drugs when he brutally killed his mother.
“(Verdicts like this) are not unusual, but it doesn’t happen frequently,” said State Attorney Bill Eddins. “It’s a standard case, it just doesn’t happen very often.”
Dr. Richard Benson, a psychiatrist who has evaluated Aydelott on numerous occasions argued the teenager was hearing voices in his head commanding him to kill his mother due to his mental condition.
Schizophrenia is mental disorder that can cause people to see or hear things that aren’t there. In Aydelott’s case, doctor’s testified the then teenager was hearing voices commanding him to kill his mother.
After years of evaluation, doctors determined the teenager was not faking his mental illness and was not under the influence of any drugs when he killed his mother in their Crane Cove subdivision home.
After the verdict, Simon ordered Aydelott to be placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families and later involuntary committed to a state mental health facility where he will be evaluated until he is no longer deemed a threat to the community.
“Not only did he not hear voices, he heard voices so strong, he killed his own mother,” Eddins said. “I want to reassure the general public, in my opinion, he will never get out. He is locked up in a secure facility. The only way he can get out is if he convinces a judge that he is not a danger to the community. I don’t think he will ever be able to do that because in the most simple terms, he killed his own mother and he said he ‘felt like he did the right thing.’”
Aydelott will be forced to undergo a mental evaluation at the hospital every six months to determine if his mental health has improved. He will also be required to have an evaluation done every year to determine whether or not he is a threat to the community.
Eddins said that even if doctors are convinced he’s not a danger to society, the chances of him convincing a local judge will be slim to none.
“He killed his own mother,” Eddins said. “There is no arguing that. In my opinion, it’s highly unlikely that Aydelott will ever get out. How will a man who did that convince the judge he will no longer be a danger? I don’t believe he can. He has to have a hearing before the judge and our office is going to oppose any release of Aydelott or any movement towards a less restrictive environment.”
Eddins said with confidence that his office will ensure he won’t be getting out anytime soon.
“He has an annual review, and if he tries to get out or go to a less-restricted environment, we will be notified. And when we are, we will gather information and we will hire our own expert and we will have a hearing before there is any change to his status. There can be no change to his status without prior approval by a judge.”