JEFFERSON COUNTY — In a surprise turn of events Wednesday, the planned mental fitness trial of a 36-year-old Mt. Vernon man was waived in favor of a bench trial on the charges accusing him of shooting his brother to death last summer in rural Mt. Vernon.
Matthew Sloan is charged in Jefferson County court with three counts first-degree murder for the July 4th 2018 shooting death of his brother David Sloan after the two argued following a night of drinking at David’s rural Mt. Vernon home.
Within a month of Sloan’s arrest, the court ordered a mental fitness evaluation of the defendant. The results of that exam were submitted to the court in November with the doctor finding Sloan fit to stand trial.
Defense attorney Scott Quinn, however, disagreed with that finding, so six jurors were scheduled to be selected Wednesday in Jefferson County court to determine Sloan’s fitness to stand trial.
But before a jury could be selected Wednesday, and out of the presence of prospective jurors, the defense waived the trial and elected to instead have a judge decide fitness.
Only one witness was called to testify at the trial. Prosecution psychiatric expert Dr. Angeline Stanislaus testified about the fitness evaluation conducted on Sloan that found him fit to stand trial.
The defense called no witnesses and presented no evidence before resting its case. The court will now take the matter under advisement and set a March 5 status hearing on the matter of Sloan’s mental fitness.