Sanity of World Changers Church shooting suspect Floyd Palmer may be an issue

8:12 PM, Nov 16, 2012   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
  • Floyd Palmer, 52, the suspect in the World Changers Church shooting
  • Greg McDowell was shot while leading Bible study at World Changers Church International.
  • Atlanta attorney Drew Findling

ATLANTA -- A court hearing for 51-year-old accused murderer Floyd Palmer was postponed again Friday morning at the request of his new defense team.

Atlanta attorneys Drew Findling and Marissa Goldberg asked Fulton County Superior Court Judge Karen Woodson to reset a preliminary hearing for the suspect in last month's deadly shooting at World Changers Church International.

RELATED | Shooting at World Changers Church International
PHOTOS | World Changers Church International shooting

Palmer, who previously worked at Pastor Creflo Dollar's church, is accused of walking into World Changers on Oct. 24 and calmly shooting 39-year-old Greg McDowell as he was leading a weekday prayer service.

RELATED | Creflo Dollar addresses church after shooting
MORE | Community remembers shooting victim

A Fulton County Police detective was set to give a glimpse into the prosecuton's case against Palmer on Friday.

Defense attorney Findling told 11Alive News he asked for a postponement since he and Goldberg are new to the case.

He also said he wants to look into another shooting blamed on Palmer a decade ago in Baltimore.

Palmer served 18 months in a mental health facility after pleading guilty to shooting and wounding a fellow security guard at a mosque. 

RELATED | Suspect faced previous charges in Maryland

"We've got to look into the issues surrounding this case and surrounding what happened ten years ago, and mindful of the understanding that there was a tragic loss of life," attorney Findling told 11 Alive on Friday.

Findling said it's too soon to know if the judge will order Palmer to undergo a mental examination in this case.

But given Palmer's history, it's very likely.

Such an examination would help the court decide if Palmer is mentally competent to stand trial.

Even if he is determined to be competent, his lawyers could still try to use an insanity plea as a defense.

In addition to being found not guilty by reason of insanity, under Georgia law a defendant could also be found guilty but mentally ill and still have to go to prison.

Palmer's defense team will meet with the judge and prosecutors on Nov. 29 to determine where the case should go next.

Most Watched Videos