From staff reports
The start date of a trial for accused murder Hammad Memon was prolonged by a judge Monday, less than two weeks after his attorney filed a motion asking for a delay.
Huntsville attorney Bruce Gardner filed a motion May 3 asking for a delay of at least 120 days. In the motion, he said Memon was not competent to stand trial.
The trial was set to begin June 18.
Madison County Assistant District Attorney Tim Gann said the delay was “completely expected.” He said the defense will take steps to have Hammad evaluated by psychological experts and that the state would do the same.
“This is a long process, but it is with all murder cases,” Gann said. “It seems like it’s taking a long time, but it’s about average. This is nothing new as far as the case goes, but we want to get (the trial started) as soon as possible.”
Gardner previously told The News Courier he needed more time to prepare a defense for Hammad of not guilty by reason of disease or mental defect. The 16-year-old is suffering from mental illness, according to the May 3 motion, which has “worsened as a result of recent events in the case and his subsequent incarceration.”
Those “recent events” include the April 13 arrests of Hammad’s parents, Iqbal and Safia Memon, on felony charges of hindering prosecution. Authorities allege Safia Memon attempted to help her son flee to Pakistan ahead of the trial. Iqbal Memon, an Athens pediatrician, was arrested because authorities believed he was not being truthful during a search of the family’s Madison home.
Safia and Hammad Memon were found in Dallas, Texas, along with the Memons’ six-year-old daughter. Both were returned to Madison County where Safia was freed on $15,000 bond. Iqbal Memon is also free on $15,000 bond.
Since that incident, Hammad’s pretrial bond was revoked and he has remained in the Madison County Jail.
Hammad was 14 when authorities allege he shot Todd Brown, a fellow Discovery Middle School student, in the back of the head during a class change at the school. He will be tried as an adult.